11 Mar. 2011 General

Television is an integral part of our life. The name synonymous with television is Advertisements. But, how many times does it happen that we watch a full span of ads shown between any programs? The power of the remote is used to the fullest possible extent to switch from one channel to another once commercial breaks take to the center. This swapping of channels when an ad or to be more specific unwanted ad is telecasted is known as Zapping.

Zapping has been a thorn in the flesh of every advertiser for a long time. But, is zapping just a result of customer preference or a calculative error on the part of the advertisers? People don’t ignore ads, but they ignore repetitive ads. The challenge is to move ahead with people’s taste and alter the advertisement strategy to optimize the viewers’ attention space.

Zoo-zoo campaigns for example were wonderfully followed by the audience. So much so that at its peak people paused at channels where they were on display during their zapping extravaganza. Also, one very crucial factor that hits ad makers badly is the ad that precedes their ad. If it is a rhetoric and boring one, the viewer is already on a different channel, no matter how amazing the ad makers’ work is. It’s basically a complex equation in the art of catching eyeballs. Perhaps the reason why ad makers have gone one step ahead and placed themselves in split screens during a cricket match.

Teaser campaigns, if planned aptly work magnificently in attracting eyeballs. But, the catch is that the time between the actual release and teaser shall be optimally timed. Marketing can be a mixture of art and science. But advertisements are a complex algorithm of art, mathematics, algebra, permutations and combinations and yet after all the combinations you need the most important article of luck.

So, here is a 5 point agenda to kill zapping:

  • Zero down precisely on your target segment and depending upon them, define the frequency of occurrence
  • Create advertisements with shorter lifespan with exponential growth phase
  • Do away with Celebrity endorsements until and unless it’s a Brand Identity. Simply because you cannot control number of products your endorsement endorses and viewers get perplexed
  • Don’t irritate the audience. Too much loud music, too much exposure, too many stories clubbed into one confuses and drives away the viewer
  • Use repeat telecasts for better return on your investments. The person seeing a repeat telecast is not likely to swap frequently as he or she doesn’t want to miss the main program and you are safe.

Zapping as in any other form of life calls for survival of fittest. It in fact goes one step ahead and says it’s the survival of the fittest, smartest and wittiest. It’s a battle for eyeballs and the media age is just in so get ready for some interesting and innovative ideas from the ad world. But, one thing’s for sure. If ad makers are getting smarter, so are the consumers and following the cycle, we probably will move to the 3600 of simplicity and common sense.

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