Jun 19, 2007

Where's the marketing message?

They say that with websites; you have 8 seconds to capture the readers attention before they bail. 8 seconds to display a pull-based marketing message.

But for push based marketing: whether an ad on a bus bench, something in the paper, or my case, the ad on the back of a movie stub – you don’t have the luxury of 8 seconds. 8 seconds is an eternity to look at a billboard when driving, or an ad on a matchbook cover. You really only have a second, maybe 2 if you are lucky. So its best to keep the message you send short, and sweet. No glitzy stuff.

That is not what AMC theaters did when advertising private movie screenings for events on the back of their tickets. I had this ticket stub lying around my apartment for months, maybe years. It kept on showing up, I saw the back of it a gazillion times. Every time I saw it, I only gave it a second of my time – long enough to read ‘VIP’ and then lose interest. It wasn’t until last week that I, for some unknown reason, read the entire ad. I had no idea that one could show theater movies at private parties and events. How cool is that?

Look at the back of the stub yourself – a lot of stuff to read, huh? Between the fancy shmancy image, the logo, the extraneous VIP headline – there is no way a customer can read and digest the advertising message in 1 second.

The back of a movie stub

But, what if AMC just had a short line of text on the back of their tickets; accompanied by the relevant contact information. They wouldn’t be selling anything, they would just be informing prospective customers of a service. They could have had my business – had I known.

How I would have done it

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