Appealing to the senses

A distinguished panel led by our very own Head of Mobile and Tech Futures, Milton Elias, gathered in the Boardroom today to discuss “Appealing to the Senses”. The panel included Talon Outdoor’s Head of Innovation Richard Simkins, Farhann Cachra from Global Radio and Chris Paine, Business Development Manager at Immersion, even flew in especially from NYC to join us.

Very much akin to the insight that fuels our Share of Life strategy here at OMD UK, Milton introduced the session by shocking us with how much our attention spans have decreased in recent years; now eight seconds long. Actually shorter than that of a goldfish. So there has never been a greater need for advertisers to look to sensory immersion to engage consumers.

Farhann affirmed sound as an under-exploited phenomenon, Chris deemed touch as one of the best at building deep emotional connections and Rich extolled the power of visual virtues. But all three agreed that the power of multisensory experiences was supreme.

When asked about the most exciting innovations in their respective media, Rich brought it back to brilliant basics as more Outdoor sites are now being designed by esteemed architects, enhancing the sense of sight by putting the message in a beautiful environment. Chris was the first person to mention VR, bigging up the power of immersion to change the way we perceive a message. Farhann mentioned the wonders of 3D audio, something that has been done here at OMD for the award-winning Channel 4 campaign for Hunted, where the thrill of the chase was brought to life by spookily real sounds (think: helicopter choppers, dogs barking, footsteps in a train carriage).

With all of the awesome and fantastical multisensory experiences we were regaled with, Milton then got serious on the panel and asked them what their advice would be for a brand scared to take the risk of spending more budget on production. The conclusion to this was very much about understanding a campaign’s objectives and knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing rather than innovation for innovation’s sake.


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