Attention Thieves

As the media consumer’s attention continues to simultaneuously splinter and contract, Attention Thieves will have to go to greater lengths to get an audience’s attention.

Attention thieves come from both sides of the content coin: “editorial” and “advertising”.

I discovered an example of the editorial attention thief tonight while searching Twitter for #SMX related Tweets.

Sifting through the Tweet stream containing the #SMX hashtag, I found about half were from Twitter spammers posting Tweets with multiple “Trending Topics” keywords like #SMX embedded in their commercial or otherwise nonsensical message like the one below:

Attention Theif: Attention Thieves

Attention Theif: Attention Thieves

An example from the advertising side of the attention thief coin comes from Comedy Central and most of their advertisers’ commercials.

When Comedy Central airs commercials, they increase the audio portion of the ad by several units of volume – at least according to my television.

Their attempts to retain my attention are significant enough that my television volume graphic increases itself when they air their commercials.

As marketing and advertising messaging continues to fall on more deaf ears, media companies and advertisers alike will more often have to act like attention thieves than not.


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