Be brave enough to trust your audience

Some marketers under estimate their audience.  So they decide that they have to beat them over the head with their message.  And in doing so, that actually waters down the message to the point of it not being anywhere near as effective.

This spot starts off so strong.  Watch it to the end and see where it loses its edge for you.

 

The power of this spot was the close ups of the women.  We could see and feel their emotions.  The connection was real because they were very raw and the shot was very tight.    But then, the editor decided we might not understand that many women have been sexually abused….so they had to do the old "and she told two friends, and so on and so on" screen split.

Which completely disconnected us from the women.  The emotion is lost. And so is the power of the spot.

Don’t be afraid to let your audience connect the dots.

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13 comments on “Be brave enough to trust your audience

  1. Amy Black says:

    Hi Drew. I saw this ad the other day and felt that it was very effective. I actually liked that they brought it all together at the end by showing that so many women have been abused. For me, it hit the concept of “your not alone” home pretty well. Yes, it’s an old trick, but it worked for me.

  2. Amy Black says:

    Sorry, I meant “you’re not alone.” Hate that typo!

  3. Kelly says:

    Drew,

    I watched before reading below to react without knowing your opinion, and I have to say, for me it was about two “I was” before the group shots started. I started to think “I was WHAT, already,” and stopped being involved. I started thinking about things like did the director tell them all to inflect their voices differently and technical stuff, and they lost all power when it went over my limit. I agree that the group shots don’t work, but “I was” already gone by then.

    Good post.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  4. I think it is a very effective ad in the matter that it educates the public. It achieves its goal, but I also see how the group shots can cause some people to lose interest.

    Keith Brando
    http://sta.rtup.biz
    “The Facebook of Small Business”

  5. Mark True says:

    Drew:

    I’m goig to have to disagree with you…but it took watching it twice to come to that conclusion. You’re not the target audiences…women who have been sexually abused are the target audience, and the creative is based on the point that abuse victims need to know that it happens to others and they should report it. I think the multiple images are on strategy, but I’m just guessing at that.

    -Mark

  6. Mark True says:

    Drew:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you…but it took watching it twice to come to that conclusion. You’re not the target audiences…women who have been sexually abused are the target audience, and the creative is based on the point that abuse victims need to know that it happens to others and they should report it. I think the multiple images are on strategy, but I’m just guessing at that.

    -Mark

  7. Mark True says:

    Wow…it was such an important comment I had to say it twice…the second time without a typo! 😉

  8. Amy,

    You make a valid point. Maybe the emotional connection was enough and they could switch to the “look how many” gimmick.

    Maybe I was looking at the spot more from a “we understand and can help” message. I wonder if the victim of sexual assault cares how many other people have been assaulted or if they just want help?

    Drew

  9. Kelly,

    How interesting…how we all have reacted so differently to this spot. So, if they had opened the spot with a factoid (X women are sexually assaulted every day or something) would that have let you stay connected to the spot?

    Or was the “I was” sequence just too long for you?

    Drew

  10. Keith,

    True — it does deliver the message. And maybe that’s enough. In this case, the spot wants us to know about the resource.

    I wonder if we would grade it differently if they had been asking for money or volunteers?

    Drew

  11. Mark,

    You could certainly be right. I wonder if the spot is based on knowledge or research that shows that “it’s happened to many other women” is a big factor in reporting or not reporting a sexual assault?

    I think the close ups of the women saying “I was” could have delivered the same message (you’re not alone) without breaking the emotional connection.

    But…the biggest point you’ve made — I am not the target audience — is right on the money and a good reminder to all of us.

    It has to be from the audience’s POV!

    Drew

  12. Kelly says:

    Drew,

    No, a factoid first would make it too much like other things I’ve seen. The “I was”es were good. They just went on too long.

    As to strategy (I was just thinking about its impact and my own attention earlier), I’m just one woman, with only my life experiences to judge by. But I’d call into question any research suggesting women in this situation are looking for some sort of group validation before deciding to report an incident. IMHO this ad is going to work more on mass awareness than on what action an individual under extreme duress takes. That might mean it isn’t going to work at all, if their goals are as straightforward as the spot makes it seem.

    Until later,

    Kelly

  13. Kelly,

    True, much of the emotional impact would have been lost if they started out with stats or facts.

    For me, as a male, my reaction was one of empathy and wanting to help. Which of course, wasn’t the main point of the spot at all. If they’d ended the spot with an appeal for money or a vote on legislation etc. I would have been right there.

    Fascinating how we all see it so differently through each of our own lens.

    Drew

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