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Be Brave

The sweat on your forehead beads and starts to trickle down your head.

This is it.

Your entire marketing budget… on a 30-second commercial.
You need to make this 30 seconds count.

Then it hits you! The obvious solution.
You’re gonna cram this sucker with so many sales messages that the audience are gonna be weak at the knees!

That’s gonna work… isn’t it?

In our first TriPOD podcast of 2024 (5 Video Marketing Trends for 2024) we touched on a really important point that I’d like to go into a little more depth in this article.

We were discussing the increasing power of short form video, decreasing audience attention spans and the massive din of the modern fast-paced media environment.

One of the more specific things we touched on was the common mistake we see and deal with regularly when creating TV commercials and short form marketing videos for our clients:

Trying to cram in too many messages.

Gareth Turner, a marketing strategy expert (ex The HEINEKEN Company Arla Foods Weetabix) shared a very enlightening study by a market research agency Millward Brown that goes into great depth to analyse how this impacts how much this impacts your audience’s retention.

Millward Brown are a renowned market research agency and their research often utilises a variety of methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative analysis, to understand how consumers react to different advertising strategies.

This includes assessing recall, engagement, brand perception, and the ad’s ability to drive sales or action. and have conducted extensive studies on advertising effectiveness, including how clutter and the inclusion of too many messages can dilute the impact of advertisements.

Their research often emphasises the importance of clear, focused messaging to ensure ads are memorable and effective.

A common finding across advertising research, including studies by Millward Brown, is that trying to communicate too many ideas or messages within a single advertisement can overwhelm or confuse the audience, reducing the ad’s overall effectiveness.


One of the key principles derived from such research is the importance of simplicity in advertising.

Ads that focus on a single message or concept tend to be more effective because they are easier for audiences to understand and remember.

This is especially crucial in today’s fast-paced media environment, where consumers are constantly bombarded with information and have limited attention spans.

In a specific piece of recent research by Millward Brown through their Link™ service (which evaluates consumer responses to ad content) they beautifully demonstrated the diminishing returns of adding multiple messages.

Their findings show that an ad’s ability to convey even one clear message significantly decreases with each additional message added.

For instance, while a single-message ad has a 100% chance of being understood, this likelihood drops to 65% with two messages and plummets to 43% by the fourth message!


This research underscores the importance of focused messaging in advertising for effective communication with consumers.

In other words, be brave.

Choose your main message, and give it the space it needs.

It’s common that businesses overload their ads.

As touched on in my beautiful piece of creative writing at the beginning of this article, it stems from a natural desire to maximise the advertising opportunity by sharing as many messages as possible, especially under tight budget constraints.

However, this trend is largely due to a lack of strategic planning and an understanding of consumer information processing. Additionally, some individuals might not fully embrace the rule, believing their message is simple enough for consumers to understand.

A key part of our job as a video production agency is to help you with this at the start of our process. We are open and honest with our input and can help you refine your sales message into that key, core golden hook that will work to grab your audience and reel them in.

We’ll even mop the sweat from your brow.

Be brave!


1. How do you determine which message should be the primary focus of an ad?

Determining the primary focus of an ad involves understanding the core value or benefit that your product or service offers to the target audience. Start by identifying what sets your offering apart from competitors and consider the most pressing need or desire it fulfils for your customers. Market research, customer feedback, and competitive analysis can provide valuable insights into what resonates most with your audience. The chosen message should be relatable, clearly articulate a benefit, and align with your brand’s values and overall marketing strategy. It should also be actionable, guiding the audience towards a clear next step or call to action.

2. Can you provide examples of successful ads that have effectively used a single-message strategy?

Several successful ad campaigns have utilised a single-message strategy effectively. Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign is a prime example, focusing solely on the iPhone’s camera quality to showcase the beauty and capability of photos taken by everyday users. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is another, promoting the idea of pushing past limits, applicable to athletes and non-athletes alike, encapsulating motivation and perseverance in three simple words. These campaigns stand out because they communicate a clear, focused message that connects with the audience’s aspirations and experiences.

3. What strategies do you recommend for businesses struggling to simplify their advertising message due to complex products or services?

For businesses struggling to simplify their advertising message due to the complexity of their products or services, the key is to focus on the benefit rather than the features. Rather than trying to explain how the product works or its various components, highlight how it makes the customer’s life better, easier, or more enjoyable. Storytelling can be a powerful tool in this regard, illustrating real-life applications or outcomes that stem from using the product or service. Testing different messages with a segment of your target audience can also reveal which aspects are most compelling. Additionally, leveraging visuals can help convey complex ideas more simply and effectively, allowing the audience to grasp the message quickly without getting bogged down in details. By concentrating on the emotional or practical impact of the offering, businesses can create a more accessible and relatable message that cuts through the noise.

Any questions for us? We'd love to chat!