If you are reading this, you are weird. Why? Because you give a sh*t about advertising.

You notice when the ads you’ve made appear in front of you on the telly. You remember when your competitors’ ads pop up on Facebook. You read articles about advertising best practice. You talk about it with your friends and colleagues. You have opinions about it.

That makes you pretty weird. 

Now, it’s totally natural that you give a sh*t about advertising. Your rent or you mortgage depends on it. But that doesn’t make you any less weird. 

And this is a problem, because the people we are advertising to aren’t weird. They are normal.

They don’t give a sh*t about advertising. When they go on line, they give less than two second attention to the average digital ad – if they notice them at all.

They press the skip button as soon as they can on YouTube. 34% of them walk out of the room to make a cup of tea when the ads come on the TV. 

Understanding this reality of attention to advertising is important because it reminds us that no one has to watch the things we create. They can – and do! – look away, or turn the page or simply not notice our ads in the first place.

Instead, we have to earn their attention, and produce something worth their precious time. As Bill Bernbach once said, you can’t sell a man who isn’t listening. Or looking. 

And it’s important to understand this selective, voluntary attention when we’re testing ads.

The way most companies test ads this is by turning perfectly normal people into weirdos for the purposes of the test: you force them to watch an ad and pay them money for their considered opinions about the content.

That’s not normal, that’s weird. No wonder most ad testing is rubbish. 

At Lumen, we like to do it another way. And if you would like to learn more about producing advertising for real people, come along to MAD//Fest and Lumen’s webcast on Monday 18 May where we will be discussing whether any gives a sh*t about your advertising with Nick Steel, the weirdly unweird Insight Director of Nomad Foods Europe.

‘Does anyone give a sh*t about your ads’ takes place at 3pm BST / 10am EST on Mon 18 May. You can sign up here