Click through. You know you want to.

Written by

Andrew Millar


September 19, 2008

Here’s a great piece of music. The clip is weird –- like they made 3 clips and didn’t like any of them so they cut them together and made one. In fact forget the vid, just listen to the song….

Sorry for the distraction, and now to business… actually that is the business today because I think I’ve just invented a new term: Distraction Marketing.

And here is the opportunity…

Many things cause distraction. Our lack of ability to pay attention and concentrate for one. The room we are trying to work in might be too hot, for example. It is true that productivity drops exponentially as the temperature rises. Or we might be suffering from a lack of interest in the object of attention. We are bored, in other words. Or we might have something that we would rather be doing. Or we might be trying to avoid thinking about some of the more serious issues that confront us but are too painful or difficult to tackle….

So we look for distractions. And if we work with computers, distraction…, very effective distractions. are at hand.

iChat – Jabber and Bonjour provide very effective ways of taking up brain space. The great benefit with this time waster is you can still look like you are working.

It used to be little games that came with the computer that offered distractions. Minesweeper, chess, Apple’s jigsaw and the old little ‘sliding tile’ game are all good distractions. In fact my parents always bought us those little games whenever we went on long driving holidays, to take our minds off the fact that it was so hot in the back seat of a black Ford Zephyr. But being hot, productivity with the game always dropped to zero.

Email can be a great distracter. And you know your concentration is poor when you start checking your emails manually even when you know your computer is set to check them automatically every 5 minutes.

And then there is that grand daddy of a distraction: the Internet. A musician friend of mine cursed me the day I introduced him to all the old music clips on YouTube. He lost a half a day revisiting The Who, Stones and Led Zeppelin. The collective verb for using sites like FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter is ‘Social Networking’. Really it should be ‘Social Distracting’. I mean: who really cares if I just made a cup of tea. But it is a great distraction for someone to read that it was English Breakfast and had just enough milk to turn it ‘the colour of old lady’s stockings’. (Bet you thought you’d never read that in a Bleat!)

Now the struggle for marketers has always been to create work so interesting that we hold your attention in between scenes of your favorite soap opera or early 60s sit-com. This is Attraction Marketing. Whereas Distraction Marketing is where you place your message so people actually want to go to it to relieve boredom, get out of work or avoid thinking about what we really should be thinking about. That’s the actual power of blogs like this. We distract.

So when a web zealot comes and brags about the click throughs they achieved on some banner ad, tell them it isn’t that special. People simply desire distraction.

Now I’m going to make a cup of tea.

Read about it on Twitter if you want.