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  • Brian Keller

Behavior Change. Be Patient.

Advertising and marketing have expanded enormously over the years due to the exponential growth of the digital audience. That’s great, but the audience is fractured and is providing a challenge for clients and the practitioners of advertising and marketing. The interesting news is behavior change messaging has become, in the last 10 years a popular tool. Humans are not the most rational of creatures. Surprising isn’t it? When it comes to changing behavior, we have to also understand that people generally like what they have now. They may not want to invest in something that pays off later, whether that is emotionally or monetarily. We would rather not lose now than win later. Let’s look at two scenarios, target the behavior, and create a message. Know it’s going to take patience.

Seniors are increasingly interesting. At this point, many people are wealthier, healthier and better educated than ever before. Many of this group is of the Woodstock generation, and many are surprised that they are actually aging and could benefit from a number of small changes. Advertisers are also dealing with the children of aging parents who are either influential or are the decision-makers. A number of months ago we took an assignment that dealt with increasing the population of a client’s adult daycare centers. Its target hasn’t always embraced adult daycare, a great idea. It’s viewed as stodgy and “old” and not invigorating. Many complained of being warehoused. Patience. We wanted to change the behavior and realized quickly that our hoped-for constituency would not accept preaching or pushing. Patience. We interviewed a number of people who attended adult daycare and found them to be vibrant, engaged and thoroughly happy with their time spent. There was no stigma, no ageism just fun. With the emotion, we took from our interviews we created a program that tied together with the diverse offerings with the end result and left just a bit of an upbeat message. We also knew that it would take a while to affect a change but the digital space gave us time and plenty of “free” media placements (web, social) that also aided the SEO of the client’s site(s) across the board. We called our effort "Don’t Postpone Joy", a simple call to people to go have fun.

Data drives our second execution. Here we go, Millenials.

We can’t stay too far away from a mention of this group. Millennials are a group of people who are very susceptible to binge drink. We know that a change of behavior won’t come with preaching. We created a 360 campaign. We know many “party” and see no reason to stop (they don’t want to lose now and win later), and would have no interest in an investment. Being lovers of data, we decided that we’d change our behavior as advertisers and just let the facts play out

What we told them: Drinking increases your chances of having sex.

What we told them: The National Violence Resource Center reports that 72% rapes occurred while the victims were intoxicated.

“What else did you tell them?”

“Nothing,” the data spoke, the media was prevalent. Patience paid off.

Next time more on behavioral change economics and a whole bunch on agile marketing (for those without lots of patience).

Call us up at the Chromavision Brand Lab (212-686-7366) or email us at and/or visit the rest our website

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Mar 31, 2021

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