Parents and governing bodies are becoming increasingly concerned with the time that younger generations spend on social media. This has prompted a variety of social networks, as well as device makers, to take action and give users the tools to monitor and reduce their usage. While others have taken matters into their own hands, through a digital detox.
What People Are Doing
The likes of Apple and Samsung have incorporated ‘screen time’ functions, allowing users to monitor, and set a limit on, the amount of time they spend on their phones or specific apps each day.
What It Means for Advertisers
By extent, advertisers are starting to have less time to target and engage their viewers, especially now that over half of the internet is consumed on mobile devices. The decrease in time spent on a device, literally means it is becoming a struggle to expose your brand to the masses.
However, we shouldn’t be quick to give up hope on Social Media as an advertising platform, as users that decide to go into a digital detox tend to not uninstall respective apps altogether, opting in for temporary rather than permanent detoxing.
So What You Can Do?
- Back to reality: Offline advertising still exists. Traditional forms of advertising are still a popular format, meaning advertisers could return to this more prominently to re-engage or reach audiences that are on a digital detox.
- Messenger apps: Although it is known as a digital detox, the detox mainly revolves around social media and web. People still have the desire to communicate over digital devices and have not resorted in sending letters by post or pigeon… yet. Meaning messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the go to platforms.
- Email marketing: Much like messaging, consumers are always checking their emails. However, a basic email probably won’t work anymore. Making an email more personal, being relevant and having a catchy subject is key to higher opening rates.
- Be relevant: Keep an eye on the trending topics on social media and also outside of it. This could be around specific dates with plenty of time to plan (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc), or even events that you can react to (Super Bowl blackout, anyone?). Just make sure it fits with your brand!
- Utilise the limited time you have: Instead of creating typical advertising content, join the trend in your advertising. Promote a digital detox by means of the product you’re advertising (when possible).
- Dolmio Pepper Hacker: The device that automatically disables surrounding wifi. The advert was called ‘the look up experiment’ to see how much people can do whilst their children sit on their devices. The parents would trade places with alternative parents and the surroundings (table objects, paintings) would change. The device would then force the children to look up from their phones (to find out what turned the wifi off) and notice the changed surroundings.
- Paper Phone: Special Projects and Google launched an experiment offering an alternative to your phone for 24 hours. The aim of the experiment was to limit the amount of apps you use on your phone to just the essentials, and then turn them into a paper version.
- KFC Phone Stack: The idea is to drive more real-life conversations between people eating in KFC restaurants. The app KFC designed is to get the people on your table to stack their phones on top of one another on the table. They’re all linked via barcodes (almost like a group) and when you start eating you press start. The longer you spend off your phone, the better your KFC reward.
- Porsche: When Alvaro Soler had his digital detox, he decided to utilise the time gained by taking his new Porsche for a spin. In fact, he took it on a whole road trip! The hashtag used to promote the campaign was #GoneDriving.
Being able to adapt is the most important attribute you should have in your marketing. If you can’t keep up with the trends of the modern era, brand relevancy will diminish. Keeping up to date with the current trends whilst also engaging consumers during the minimal time they spend online is essential.
Those that aren’t on a detox might be considering it, so brands should also consider creative ways to keep them online. But remember: not all consumers are partaking a digital detox, and those that are, are likely compelled to return.