Don’t underestimate the power of layers in marketing. Remember the Tootsie commercials? “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” The slogan worked because you had to keep licking to see what’s next. There was always a new experience right around the corner. Well, that should be marketing gospel. Don’t give it all away up front! Save some of the fun for deeper, future experiences; this will motivate exploration, engagement and loyalty by consumers. In other words, make your brand a Tootsie. (You must have seen that coming. Well, I went there.)
I started thinking about layers yesterday while listening to Say Media during their workshop at the Pivot Conference. They had a big picture of an onion on the screen. At first this seemed strange, but the basic idea came to me over time. Encourage consumers to dig deeper and reward them for that. Say Media has built a huge video network business off of a Cost Per Engagement (CPE) model. CPE’s basic idea is that you don’t pay for impressions, only engagements (sort of like search’s model). Their basic argument is that disruptive advertising alienates consumers, so don’t force connections with unwilling consumers. Instead, focus on creating an appealing call-to-action – but don’t put it all up-front. Pay it off by delivering the core messaging and experience only for those who are willing to engage. In the end, consumers will recall opt-in experiences more and keep a higher tolerance for your ads if you don’t inundate them with over saturation in every environment. Layers bring dimension to brands and experiences. Broadcasting can appear flat and one-dimensional in a medium that is designed for exploration.