The value of context



In Australia billions of dollars are spent each year on advertising. Studies reveal that only 5% of this advertising is remembered positively by consumers.

So how do you get your message to cut through and make an impact?

Control the context.

Consider Mark Twain’s story of a ragtag group of children. He saw that the older boys were playing a game on one of the smallest boys. The ring leader would offer the small boy a nickel in one hand and a dime in the other. He was to choose one coin to keep. To the delight of the older children, the small boy kept choosing the larger yet less valuable nickel.

Nickel and Dime

Dime (Left) Nickel (Right)

Twain pulled the small boy aside and explained the value of each coin to which he resonded “I know Mister, but if I chose the dime how long do you think the game would last?” What a great example of controlling the context to your own advantage!

The Singapore Government considered the context of human behaviour to fix a problem. They needed to increase the national rate of organ donorship. However the general population were apathetic to the cause. Until that point each citizen had to elect to become an organ donor, which took effort. So, why not turn this apathy into an advantage… The rules were switched so you had to elect not to become and organ donor. Context controlled and problem solved.

This is why creative and media teams working in harmony is so important. If creative teams understand the context within which the message will be received we can alter that context for the best results.

Control the context, control the outcome.

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