According to Jay Walker-Smith of Yankelovich Consumer Research, "We've gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today the 2000s." This is a staggering, seemingly impossible number. It helps to understand that this estimate includes ALL advertising exposure, including the labels on every item your eye surveys in the aisles of the grocery store, to the labels on your Fruit of the Loom undies, and everything in between (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, Facebook feeds, billboards, taxi and bus banners, etc.). Well, you get the message. Or then again, maybe you don't.
"The fact that you and the message are in reasonable proximity for you to see it doesn’t mean you saw it. Our brains can’t truly process that many messages. We can’t notice, absorb, or even judge the personal merit of thousands of visual attacks a day," says award winning media and brand strategist, David Lamoureux.
"Look at Times Square, for example," he continues:
That has to be the densest concentration of buy-me messages on the planet. I’m guestimating myself, but I would think that if you stood on the top of the bleachers by the B’way ticket office in Times Square and slowly turned around while counting every ad on every DiamondVision, doorway, cab, bus, billboard, light pole, building, sandwich board, hawker, and flyer you’d come up with no less than 500 messages. That’s 20 minutes of overload in a perfect storm of advertising. But we don’t look at ads that way. We skim to see what speaks to or connects with our core wants, desires, and values. That’s why engagement is such a hot topic in marketing today.
God desires that we become His living advertisements in our world. But in a world with so many competing and distracting messages, we must find a way to distinguish ourselves.
If we are to do so successfully we must not be that obnoxious, cliched jingle that plays over and over again on every radio station. Rather, we must seek to "engage" our audience. Unbelievers, like consumers, will "skim" their surroundings to see and hear only what "speaks" to them or "connects" with them.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). Becoming "all things to all men, that we might by all means save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22).