The world-famous violinist Joshua Bell stood and played for 45 minutes in a Washington D.C. metro station in the winter of 2007. It was rush hour and thousands of people walked straight past. Only six stopped to listen, and he took home USD32. Two days before, he had sold out a concert at a theatre in Boston where the average ticket was sold for USD100.
“If you are not in the right place at the right time, you won’t succeed,” emphasized Rachel Zalta, the Creative Strategist at Taboola, the leading content discovery platform and a Sherlock Communications client. In her speech at Adtech & Data 2018, organized by IAB Brazil in September, Zalta used the Joshua Bell example to reinforce the importance of context for brands to reach their full potential.
There is a world of difference between playing in a renowned theatre in the city and playing in a subway station. As Joshua demonstrated, in terms of his ability to sell his work, the talent of the musician and quality of the music were secondary. When it comes to reputation, context is everything.
What would have happened if, instead, Joshua Bell had stood in front of the doors to the metro wagon? People would certainly notice him, but in one moment, he would go from a musician whose music you might appreciate, to a guy hindering your passage. That is what he would be remembered for – getting in your way. Nobody likes to feel intruded upon, and the lesson goes for brands as well. Encourage positive associations about what you are offering. And don’t be intrusive.
How human psychology can influence video viewing behaviour
Zalta’s valuable insights filled the ears and opened the eyes of the crowd of marketers present at the IAB event. She shared examples of how human psychology can influence video viewing behaviour. Brands are eagerly jumping on the video bandwagon and the majority increased their efforts in this area in 2018. But traditionally, they embed external videos. With this model, users have to click on the video and wait for the video to load – a small but significant barrier to engagement. Embedding videos may sacrifice the speed and reliability of online video formats, as well as discourage sequential viewing. To stay competitive, brands need to minimise these obstacles and risks.
Taboola’s in-feed video units offer an inherently non-interruptive environment, as they load quickly and are short and powerful. In line with the increasingly dynamic set-up of social networks, this allows users to view several videos as they scroll down the website, significantly improving engagement with brands.
Rachel Zalta also presented new internal data on consumer behaviours, based on information gathered from billions of content recommendations by Taboola in Brazil and the rest of the world.