Staff Writer: Greta Frusha
Ronald Faber has always considered that one of the best reasons to be a professor was that it allowed you to study whatever caught your attention and interest. It also helped to have the good fortune to have a large number of insightful, capable and curious graduate students to make the best of opportunities that presented themselves.
For the last couple of decades, anyone has seen the growing problems of advertising. People can easily avoid mass media ads on TV or radio, newspaper circulation is dropping, and people have quickly learned to avoid internet ads. Getting the consumers’ attention is a critical issue in top advertising agencies in Los Angeles and change is unavoidable. With change, there is always opportunities that are waiting to be explored.
One of his graduate students came to him with the idea of advergames. Faber encouraged her to pursue her idea. Video games that not only capture the interest of adolescents and young adults, but also the older crowd who had never grown up as well. By using brand placement in the games, it could overcome problems facing advertising in other media. Gamers didn’t turn off the game or switch to something else when brand placement showed up in an advergame, nor did they move their attention away from the screen. With advergames it means that people would play and replay the games gaining added exposure each time. Video games seemed an excellent way of overcoming many of the problems of advertising in the traditional media.
But there were still some questions about how much attention gamers were paying attention to the brand message. Faber states that advertising marketers have known for a while that attention is a limited resource, but could be divided. The more focused a person is on a primary task, like playing the game, the less available attention remains focused on secondary tasks like processing brand messages. Farber and his students looked to see what the role of involvement was in the game, location of the brand on the screen in relation to the action, and the congruity between the product category being advertised and the content of the game.
What Faber found was that recall and recognition was usually best when the brand was placed where the action was. However, when the person is totally involved in the game, their ability to remember brands decreases, so highly involving and challenging games might not be a good place for brand advertising. Faber then used a study where a person could morph themselves onto a model that was placed in an ad. That had a number of significant correlations between own personality and perceived brand personality were all positive.
The attention is more complex that most realize. People’s attention is a key element of advertising. It is likely to become more and more important as media fragmentation and new technologies develop. Faber feels that it is important that researchers recognize that the attention can be a complex concept that deserves continued focus and consideration by top advertising agencies Los Angeles.