Here’s the world’s worst-kept secret: we’re exposed to a lot of advertising messages today.
How many we actually see is a matter for debate; there’s the oft-criticized 5,000 ads per day number. There’s also one that suggests it’s more like 360 per day. Many others put the tally somewhere in the middle, around 3,000.
No matter what the number, most marketing messages amount to a blur that whizzes by our ears and eyes, rarely internalized. It’s one reason why digital advertising—the right person, in the right place, at the right time advertising—has gained so much credibility and popularity in recent years. The precision of digital ad targeting has a way of shaking consumers out of their collective ad-induced daze.
Whether it’s an app install ad on Facebook, or a gorgeous photo inserted into an Instagram feed, social media marketing goes a long way when it comes to cutting through the noise.
But it’s still tough to imagine what 3,000 ads per day look like, if we could collect them all in one place.
Advertising Clutter Visualized
How much space would 3,000 ads occupy? And more important, would they stick to your hair because of static electricity?
AdParlor wanted to answer those questions, which is why we filled a meeting room in London with balloons of all shapes and colors last Thursday. It was all part of Mindshare’s fourth annual “Huddle” at Central Saint Giles. We were excited to be a part of such an inspiring and thought-provoking event.
Each year, Mindshare invites the brightest, most inventive minds in the media industry to host a session based on a specific theme. This year, the Huddle was dedicated to exploring what it is to be human in our digital age.
At AdParlor, we wanted to bring the online advertising environment offline. This was to help us explore how humans physically react to this bombardment of messaging in a real world scenario.
In order to do this effectively, we blew up those 3,000 balloons. Then we invited the Huddlers to enter the room and experience it for themselves. Their goal was to choose a balloon that stood out and bring it out with them.
The reactions were really outstanding. They included:
“This has been the highlight of my life.”
“That really is the most amazing room.”
“I’m so giddy right now.”
“This is actually genius. Best. Huddle. Ever.”
“We need to push to get a permanent balloon room.”
“That was so much fun, that room makes me so happy.”
“You guys really nailed it with this idea.”
Crafting Your Best Balloon
The Huddle is a great way to remind everyone in the advertising industry that they really have a single, shared purpose: to create and distribute the most compelling messages possible. Of course, that’s quite a subjective task—but that’s why there are round and long balloons. And red and yellow ones.
There’s no perfect game plan to designing ads that resonate; the key is adding quality work to the advertising ecosystem in an effort to make available as many remarkable, brilliant balloons as we can.