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  • Writer's pictureSequoia Powell

Media is a dish best served warm!

Don Vito Corleone had the right idea! 

As a media practitioner, that is usually the goal; to make content that your audience can't ignore. The key is, though, actually catching their attention and keeping it, all while persuading them to change their attitude.

Let's be real. Our attention span in today's society is just about nonexistent. In fact, according to this article, the average person's attention span is 8 seconds. Sounds unbelievable, right? Well, it gets worse, because that's lower than a goldfish, which has an attention span of 9 seconds. Before you go saying, "that's not me, that can't be true." Don't worry! You are not alone. I am also guilty of turning off a show after only watching it for 5 seconds. Seriously, I must have watched the first 5 seconds of Game of Thrones 8 times before I actually watched the first episode. Even though I finished the series, it took someone forcing me to get past those 5 seconds for me even to enjoy it. 

So, when it comes to creating effective media content and capturing an audience through their central route of processing rather than peripheral, media professionals have to be quick and to the point. With that said, if I want to actually capture and motivate my audience, I need to think like them. 

For instance, as a consumer, I only react to content that interests me and it usually happens within the first 5-8 seconds. Therefore, I have to keep that same energy with my audience and create the content that I know will catch their eye immediately and motivate them to act. Take this Apple commercial, for example. It quickly captures its audience's eye with its relatability and convinces them that the only way to survive working from home is by using Apple products.  How do I know this to be true, you ask? Because I basically own every Apple product. TRUST ME! They know their audiences' interests. 

It doesn't stop there, though. As a consumer, I prefer messages that are clear and resourceful. If a message is cluttered, more than likely, I start to pay attention to other things in the message, like grammar or color choice, rather than the actual message. Hence, my decision to make sure that all of my content is consistently concise and useful to my audience, like Lululemon's social media pages. Their goal is to inspire their audience, not only to spend their entire light bill on one outfit but to motivate them to live a healthy life by working out. They are consistent with this message across all of their social media platforms and even offer classes for their consumers to show off their expensive clothes. 

Listen! At the end of the day, it's all about being in control. And yes, this is coming from the Queen of Control herself. So, I know that the only way I can influence my audience to act and change long term is by letting them feel like they are in control. I mean, it worked for Dove, who put out this campaign in 2004 that allowed their consumers to choose what they wanted to see in their ads, not mention it's still thriving today

To me, media is a dish best served warm, with the audience in mind.  

Until next time, peace! ✌️  

xo, Sequoia 

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