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Superficial processing of messages

The brain works continually. The consequence of it's adaptation to torrent of information is superficial processing of messages and their low-involvement. This means that in a given moment we can concentrate and be involved only in tasks which are really important for us. When we watch a football game our attention focuses on actions which occur on the field and when we drive a car we focus on traffic lights. Other information we process in a superficial way and mindlessly – it's a symptom of leisure of our brain.

It's obvious that some stimuli have higher priority than others and some we try to ignore. Nevertheless all of them leave marks in our memory. When the football game watched on TV is interrupted by commercial breaks you often go to the kitchen or you make a phone call. You don't concentrate on the advertisements but in fact you are reached by some of the messages. Similarly, when you drive a car you notice street billboards in the corner of your eye or when you try to close banner ad on the web side you involuntarily record its message.

So how to get through brain's data selection? And how to put your message in the consumers' awareness.

1. Avoid subtexts and strong stimuli

We have to be aware that receiver's brain can not be able to detect nuances of an advertisement. Messages which are too complicated, veiled or encrypted can be misunderstood. Similarly ineffective can be visual which is too strong. For example – a very attractive model with seductive eyes can draw all the receiver's attention and finally he won't notice the key issues of the message.

2. Name the assets but don't describe them

Another possible consequence of superficial processing of commercial messages can be lower degree of perception of rational arguments. When our brain is occupied with other activities there is no possibility to analyze the message and to be able to argue. Finally it registers number of arguments but not their meaning. That's why consumer receives our message better when we highlight our points instead of describing them.

3. Test before releasing

To ensure that the message which is important to us will be received and understood correctly you have to make every effort to draw the attention of the audience. It is very important to test an advertisement before broadcasting it in the conditions as close to the reality as it's possible. The results show if our message interacts correctly or if something should be improved or changed.

The knowledge that consumer's contact with advertisements is not intentional but, in a sense, forced and incidental, is crucial in marketing communication. Furthermore, you have to remember that receiver's attention is usually focused not exactly on a commercial message but on many different issues and activities.
With this knowledge you can avoid unnecessary mistakes and misunderstandings.


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