What is the biggest challenge for anyone involved in communications today whether that be with their staff or customers? Distraction. Your audience is distracted. We live in a distracting world where we all have multiple stimuli vying for our attention.
In this world of distraction, what is the most precious commodity? Many people think that data or information is what is driving our economy. But an economy is defined by its scarcity, not its abundance. And with an abundance of information, it is human attention that is scarce.
The attention economy
In this sense, we are living in an attention economy. Human attention is the one thing we are all vying for. Because if we are not able to hook and hold the attention of our audience we don’t have a chance of communicating with them.
But in a world that is becoming more and more distracting, how do we get and maintain the attention of our audience? This is the key challenge that UZI Media focusses on. They have looked into the art and science of human attention to get a deep understanding of how it works.
For the art of human attention, they have turned to storytelling as the means of focussing an audience. Three key principles underly successful storytelling: Context, conflict and character, and it is the interplay between them that sustains our attention in a story.
Neuroscience and human attention
For the science human attention UZI Media has looked to neuroscience to help answer questions about how and why our attention works in the way it does. There are two principles of attention: The first is that the things that initially get our attention are usually different in some way.
This dates back to our prehistoric ancestors who had to forage for food. Foraging is based on one simple principle: find what is different. In this way, they were able to discover new things to eat. Today we don’t forage for food, we forage for information. And being different is a way of hooking the attention of an audience.
The second principle of attention is that to hold it we have to make an emotional connection with our audience. Without emotion data is just numbers, it has no meaning. More than anything else we respond to emotion.
UZI Media has developed a product that is both different and has the potential to make an emotional connection with an audience. It is called a Brand Avatar.
A Brand Avatar is a digital puppet that can be designed to reflect a brand’s persona and can be used as a brand ambassador or a digital presenter on a website, in social media, for training or explainer videos, or any other communication. It can even be used for webinars and at live events.
Brand Avatars are brought to life using performance capture as opposed to more traditional forms of animation. This radically reduces the cost and time to produce. They are also flexible in design and can be illustrated or created using photographs. Think of it as a brand mascot for the digital age.
In the attention economy content is not king. There is simply too much of it around. Attention is the new king and being able to hook and hold the attention of an audience is key to the success of communication today.