Targeting Boredom

Quick Read: Marketers have always tried to dial up and capitalise on their consumers’ active interest and consideration levels. Now what if they could also leverage the lack of it? 

Let’s take boredom.

A common human emotion, boredom often makes us to instinctively reach out to our mobile phones.

With our attention spans thrown into a state of suspended animation, it is natural that we see ourselves seeking solace in the infinite scrolls of updates, tweets, videos, pics etc.

In fact there is research to prove that our boredom levels can be inferred from – surprise surprise – our mobile phone usage alone!

By leveraging features related to our mobile phone usage like recency of communication, usage intensity, time of day and demographics – the research has successfully built a machine learning model that can infer our state of boredom with an 83% accuracy!!

Bored-man-using-a-phone.jpg

(Pic source)

Interestingly, results from this research also suggest that people are more likely to engage with ‘recommended content’ when they are bored than when they are not.

Why?

Presumably because our ‘conscious choice’ takes a back seat when we are bored making us open to nibbling at a bit of whatever gets thrown our way.

Now these findings could have huge impact on targeting possibilities for marketers.

What if we could target not just by conventional cuts like demo, psychographics, affinities etc, but also by temporal mental states like say being bored, being excited, feeling low, feeling on top of the world etc? 

Not too unrealistic a prospect. Is it?

But when that happens, we are looking at dramatic implications for brands from across a range of industries – be it for media platforms marketing content, or for e-commerce players seeking to deploy real time pricing interventions  etc.

Now that’s interesting.

(Featured Image Source)

Is The Classic Purchase Funnel Flawed?

Quick Read: With most products in any given category tending to have total functional parity, the only way to drive trial could possibly be through a singular route – curioisty.

Often times I am curious why “curiosity” doesn’t even figure in the classic purchase funnel.

In fact I tend to believe that without inciting a threshold level of curiosity in a consumer, awareness and consideration could end up proving to be moot pursuits.

Let’s take Kaviar. (or Smörgåskaviar to be specific)

Kaviar is a Scandinavian spread – a paste consisting mainly of lightly smoked cod roe that has a salty/sweet/fishy taste and a gooey pink/orange colour. Packed full of omega-3 goodness, kaviar can be eaten at anytime and practically spread on anything edible – breads, eggs, meat, cheese etc. (source)

Mills Kaviar

(Source: Mills Kaviar)

No wonder the Scandivaians swear by them, with the category that is sufficiently crowded with brands like MillsStabburet, Kalles, Kavli etc battling out for market share by commanding fierce loyalties.

However kaviar supposedly has one catch – it is an acquired taste and a first timer might find the taste disgusting

Now that’s where the Kalles Campaign proves to be a genius. (Kalles is a Swedish Kaviar brand)

The campaign holds a mirror to other nationalities’ incomprehension and their reaction at having something that tastes – let’s just say – strong and funny.

It starts with Los Angeles where obviously the Californians don’t hold back their feelings upon tasting something weird.

As it moves to Switzerland, the taste test yields more hand and eyebrow gestures than actual verbal responses.

“It tastes … ” a serious looking man in a tie says. “It tastes … ”

“Fantastic?” the Swede asks.

“No,” the Swiss man replies, with a resolute firmness.

In Budapest, the reaction is icier. A woman takes a bite, exchanges cold glances and upon being asked if she likes it, she smiles, and says “yes,” with a look that clearly says no.

The Costa Ricans laugh and gesticulate.

And the Japanese are very polite even as they appear to be gagging at the taste.

 The Kalles commercials began in 2012 and were made by the Swedish ad firm Forsman & Bodenfors.

As this NYTimes article says, if nothing else these ads are a whimsical cultural excursion into manners.

Now, can anyone get me a Kalles Kaviar please?

I want to try my own gag reflex.

I am really curious!

Now, where am I in the purchase funnel?

(Featured Image Source: My Guilty Pleasures)