More moronic observations from the “experts”

This one takes the cake, especially in light of my previous post and the one about ABC wanting to block fast-forwarding during commercials on DVRs. Two professors have done a study — as reported in today’s Online Media Daily — with the remarkable conclusion that:

Consumers might have more power over when and where they experience media than ever before, but they appear to enjoy content more–and pay closer attention to it–when they relinquish some of that control…

…“More attention is elicited by things that are not expected,” said (Kevin) Wise, who was a doctoral student at Stanford when he conducted the research.

One implication for online media is that users might be more interested in content when it appears without warning, such as in the form of sudden bursts of motion and sound, or the much-disliked pop-ups, Wise said.

Where do they find people like this? “More attention is elicited by things that are not expected?” You mean like a man with a gun jumping in your face?

To paraphrase Rishad Tobaccowala of Starcom’s Denuo group, “We’re in an “empowered era” in which “humans are God,” because technology allows them to be godlike. How will you approach god?”

It won’t be with “sudden bursts of motion and sound.”



  1. I will play devil’s advocate here (to a very, very minor degree). You are absolutely right about consumers wanting and demanding control over how we experience media. However, they have a small point. It is kind of nice to be surprised by something you like, from time to time. It makes my day slightly better to hear a song I really like by surprise, on the radio, then to dial it up on my iPod. Either one makes my day better, but the surprise is kind of nice. It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Pandora — I’m getting what I want, but there’s still the element of a surprise or “treat” to it. If I could come up with something similar for news consumption — a Pandora for news, for example — I wouldn’t mind their trying to surprise me with ads they have a reasonable suspicion I’m interested in, based on my preferences and other information I’ve voluntarily given them.

    Just some thoughts.

  2. Good point, Holly. But I think the essence of your point was summed up in the line: I wouldn’t mind their trying to surprise me with ad they have reasonabl suspicion I’m interested in.…exactly! As Terry stated, the man jumping in your face with a gun demands, and gets a great deal of your attention. The friend jumping in your face at the mall to surprise you and say hi also demands a gets alot of attention. If you’re in business, I suspect you would rather be more like the friend than the gunman.

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