Entertainment Not Worth 3 Seconds

If you have ever handed someone a show flier and they looked at it for less than three seconds, the entertainment that flier promised… and the resulting experience and memories of that entertainment were not worth three seconds to that person.

That flier was not perfect for them. Maybe if you handed them a flier with their face on it, they would have taken a moment to figure out what was going on, then they might have read deeper and found that the show was great for them.

It’s a commitment

This process of taking a moment, then taking another moment, then doing more is a thing I call commitment chunking. Even deciding to spend one second reading a headline is one of the gajillion commitments we’re making each day.

This is a thing that needs to happen in graphic design as well as entertainment.

Here’s a meme…

These micro-commitments are the only way that we commit to anything. By the time someone downloads a show on netflix, they’ve committed to a lot of things that led them there. Someone doesn’t determine to buy a ticket in one moment, it’s a long path leading up to it. Someone doesn’t watch a whole movie, they have all the moments during the movie, where subconsciously they’re deciding whether to stick with it.

If a commitment pays off, we continue

With a newspaper,

  1. you see the photo on the front page, it is something you like,
  2. you commit to reading the headline, it looks interesting,
  3. you check out the caption of the photo, good stuff,
  4. read the first paragraph, boring
  5. done

This is a case for empathy

We, as entertainment pros, need to understand this process and that we don’t deserve attention just because we’re “good.” We need to give our audience small commitments, and reward each of those commitments. Downloading your game is not just a few seconds of their time, it is a complicated decision-making process that involves them sacrificing time and energy. Reward them completely.

Written for folks who want to attract and energize groups

Scot Nery is an emcee who has helped some of the biggest companies in the world achieve entertainment success. He's on an infinite misson to figure out what draws people in and engages them with powerful moments.

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