Global ad agency explains 6.5 seconds that matter


Draftfcb, a global marketing communications agency, presented its ‘6.5 Seconds That Matter’ operating strategy, which recognises the brief period of time marketers have to capture consumers’ attention and motivate them to act, at the 57th Annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

“6.5 Seconds That Matter recognises that advertisers have a very short period of time to capture someone’s attention with an idea that matters to them,” said Draftfcb global chief strategy officer Michael Fassnacht. “Our research shows that, on average, consumers quickly choose whether or not to engage with a brand message, so we have to say something that matters to them in the short time they are willing to give us. If we can do that, they’ll be more willing to give us all of the time we need.”

Draftfcb launched the 6.5 Seconds That Matter in August 2009, giving the agency’s clients an application for a real-time point of view and insight to where their budget is best spent. Fassnacht explained how the agency’s research consisting of nearly 2,000 interviews on three continents determined  the window of time necessary to most effectively engage consumers with a brand’s message – the “what matters” opportunity. According to those findings, the average engagement between consumer and brand across segments, channels, and categories is 6.5 Seconds.

The company discussed key elements of the 6.5 Seconds That Matter operating system such as ‘reduction’ – what you leave out of a strategy is as important as what you put in – and how it relates to the creative brief, which focuses on the ‘holy s#!t’ number that gets people to stop and think, which leads to an ‘insight’, which in turn fuels the ‘strategy’ that results in a creative expression that should matter to the viewer.

Another key discussion point was the idea of making the agency’s work ‘simple enough’ – the art of reduction from the creative brief to the work – inspired in part by famous quotes such as “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler” (Albert Einstein) and “less is more” (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe).

The company also used case studies to illustrate the practical use of the operating system for clients such as Dockers (created by Draftfcb San Francisco), Conforama (Draftfcb Paris) and Radiotjänst (Draftfcb Stockholm).

“The 6.5 Seconds That Matter is our operating system and our point of difference as an agency,” said Tom O’Keefe, executive creative director Draftfcb North America. “Our model of creativity and accountability inspired every word of this new way of working. Through the 6.5 Seconds That Matter, we develop a creative platform that has a hard data number built right into it — where you can’t pull the creativity out of the accountability or the accountability out of the creativity. We marry a number that matters with the insight that matters to deliver a creative solution that is meaningful to the consumer.”