How often do you watch tv and work on your computer at the same time? I’m doing it right now. According to Nielsen’s 1918 Q2 Total Audience Report, 45% of viewers are always or very often using another digital device while watching tv. Only 6% of tv watchers are using an audio device while watching tv.
Why? Because we LISTEN to our tvs as well as WATCH them!
TV commercials NEED SOUND! We consumers don’t just watch tv, we listen to tv; we HEAR a message. As the old adage goes:
YOU CAN’T SHUT YOUR EARS!
Seldom does the TV screen have our 100% attention visually. In addition to the 45% that is not 100% engaged, another 28% are also looking at a second screen. And, many of us are also on our cell phones! Are you getting the stats?!
We are not WATCHING TV, so every time a commercial comes on and THERE IS NO SOUND, WE DO NOT GET THE MESSAGE. TV ads that flash words on the screen without a narrator reading them OUT LOUD are wasting money and an opportunity! Politicians—can you hear me?!
Almost ALL of the political ads right now have video clips of Donald Trump telling lies. They play his words over and over again and on the screen image they flash the world “lies.” BUT NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THE WORDS ON THE SCREEN. If you are listening but not watching, the ad reinforces Trump’s message. There should be a narrator saying the words OUT LOUD!
Narrator: DONALD TRUMP IS LYING.
Then the narrator gives the CORRECT INFORMATION OUT LOUD! So people can hear it if they happen NOT to be watching. Which is the majority of us.
Conduct your own experiment. You watch tv, right? Contrast these two videos:
Eleven Films does it right. Although they don’t use a narrator, each clip includes AUDIO that tells the story. This 2:00 video calling Trump out for his Coronavirus incompetence is easy to understand even if you aren’t watching but only listening.
“You can’t trust this President to do the right thing,” says a person in a voice-over of a picture of EMTs rolling away a body. Then next clip shows Trump calling Coronavirus “the new Democratic hoax.” On comes another visual of people being screened by emergency personnel with the voice-over, “not for the sake of our country.” EVERY important point is emphasized with visuals AND AUDIO.
WATCH AND LISTEN to this video from Eleven Films. They are on a mission to save Democracy. Subscribe to their Youtube channel and #Resist! And Democratic candidates—please hire Eleven Films to get your message out!!
Contrast that with this commercial from The New York Times: The Truth Can Change How We See the World
The commercial begins with ocean scenery and Janelle Moonaea, a beautiful African-American woman, telling the story of 20 enslaved Africans being delivered to the shores of Virginia and sold to the Colonists. “America was not yet America,” she says, “but this is the moment it began.”
THEN, NO MORE SOUND BUT THESE WORDS COME ON THE SCREEN
The 1619 Project: How Slavery Shaped America
The truth can change how we see the world.
Truth is worth it.”
Then the New York Times’ logo appears.
LIKE WE SAW OR HEARD THAT!! A beautiful ad by the New York Times, apparently one in their “Truth can change how we see the world” campaign. Great campaign, but here’s the BAD NEWS.
NO ONE IS GETTING YOUR MESSAGE. YOU GOTTA SAY THE WORDS OUT LOUD!
According to a random ppt presentation I found on LinkedIn, people remember:
10% of what they read
20% of what they hear
30% of what they see
50% of what they see and hear
80% of what they say
90% of what they say and do
So, if you want people to remember what your tv commercial “says,” you’ve got to help your audience SEE and HEAR your message. If you can get them up doing the hokey-pokey and singing along, even better.