I frequently cite the ten second billboard rule. If people can’t grasp the message in seconds, most never will. I toot the whistle at any message overly long, overly complex or even worse, illegible. We all know the average span of attention in humans is shorter than that of goldfish. That’s less than 8 seconds. And we all realize – check your personal timing device – 8 seconds can be a vast amount of time.
As in the billboard scenario with bustling traffic, blaring radio and now babbling cell phones… we drive from moment to moment. Some would say from glance to glance. Do these attention grabbers make billboards obsolete? Many marketing budgets now ignore them.
Can we ignore too the effect our quick, brittle attention spans have had on movies? Now, I love Turner Classic Movies, especially the old black and white films. The great ones move with a measured pace to develop a scene, light it brilliantly, feature dialogue that builds up, subtlety… but even these classics, I think, move too slowly at times. Where’s my clicker? The result of all this is unfortunate. We make fewer and fewer quality films. Somethings got to blow up real pretty every couple minutes in movies nowadays, or we lose interest. It’s the blockbuster mindset.
People who ‘do’ logos, branding, marketing, or content strategy on social media realize we all are distracted. Media, all this ‘content’ is coming straight at us. Suddenly it’s in our lane and then just as quickly we blink and it veers away. Media really is a goldfish bowl.
These thoughts and others like them filter through any messaging design process, rising in the last few years with the arrival of social media. ‘Media’ used to mean print and TV ads. Same conflicts there however. Eyeballs. Placement. Readablity. Retention. Does any of this properly introduce the CedarCoast logo? Perhaps not. You be the judge. But, the thinking that went into its making is renewed and expanded with every CedarCoast web page and social media post. Of course, working with great clients is fundamental to doing good work. Thank you Bert and Pat Bongers, and to Ian McIntosh for this opportunity!