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Middle Lane Marketing

The recent bad weather seems to bring out more and more middle lane drivers – people that just don’t acknowledge the existence of the left hand lane under any circumstances.

I get it – kind of. When it’s pouring down with rain and you can’t see as well, you want to change lanes as little as possible. But driving in the middle lane is only a solution for the person doing it, not anyone else on the road.

Bad weather appears to encourage cautious, slower driving, but it actually produces selfish driving.

Is this what’s happening in the ad world?

One thing Dave Trott mentions in his seminars is that 89% of advertising isn’t noticed or remembered. Only 4% is remembered positively and 7% is remembered negatively. (You can view Dave’s APG Training lecture below)

But why is that figure of 89% so high? In 2012 £18.3 billion* was spent on advertising, so that’s over £16 billion spent on ineffective ads. Why would so much be spent on the wrong kind of work?

Are all the people who spend their money on forgettable ads just playing it safe and sitting in the middle lane, rationalizing their actions with airs of precaution and the hope of weathering the economic storm?

Sure it might appear safer to not try anything risqué, but if it doesn’t have the desired effect on the audience then you’re not actually playing it safe at all. And if consumers’ brains block them out as uninteresting periphery, then there isn’t really any point. You might as well be bold, move into the right hand lane and overtake the middle lane marketers that are going nowhere fast – or don’t spend your money at all.