Brand Strategy Marketing Campaign Brand Design Boldfish

Brand engagement vs information overload

Information overload

We’re living in the digital age of social and information overload. The proliferation of screens, automated software and the rise of social media our computers, smart phones and tablets constantly bombard us with an unprecedented volume of information. But is having all of this information at our fingertips necessarily a good thing? A new study suggests not. New research from analysts at ESRI UK has found that a third of us feel stressed due to the increasing volume of digital information we are expected to consume, make sense of and act on in our day to day lives. Over a third (35%) feel that having to keep up with today’s “information overload” leaves them feeling stressed out, unable to relax and anxious. Two thirds (65%) say that the need to keep track of a great deal of information is a “major concern” in their lives.

Digital decluttering

According to a new report from Adobe consumers are starting to see the need for “digital decluttering” and to tidy up and streamline their digital presence. Forty-six percent of respondents said they’ve been decluttering their online presence in the past year. That comes in the form of deleting or reducing time spent on social media apps (52%), turning their phones to silent at night (47%), unsubscribing from emails and shifting to watching or reading more high-quality content (25%).

Brand engagement

While consumers are trying to cut down where they spend on digital, marketers need to also raise the advertising bar in a way that seeks to not waste their targets’ time. This is creating an unparalleled challenge for new and established brands as they struggle to break through the social and media noise to engage their audience. National Geographic CMO Jill Cress said “Today, [advertisers] are focused a lot on the vanity metrics, like views, impressions, and clicks. But we need to figure out how far down the funnel these things are taking people,” she said.

Alle Fister, the Founder and CEO of Bollare observes ‘Modern consumers are looking for more than a product. They’re seeking an experience, a brand ethos and values that align with their own, and messaging that resonates with them on a personal level. With more sources of media than ever, it’s critical to understand the mechanisms underlying strong advertising to informed messaging and strategies to connect with their consumers.

Here’s a few tips for better brand engagement when advertising to Millennials and Gen-Z…

1. Brand purpose

Aubrey Flynn, SVP and chief digital officer of Revolt TV & Media said that Millennials and Gen-Z want purpose in their lives. They also want brands that have purpose. Telling people about your company is one thing, but empowering audiences to successfully pursue the purposes that are important to them is a totally different type of engagement. As companies begin to better understand what drives and motivates their customers, personalisation and clear, consistent messaging will be key.

2. Using humour in design

The Collage Group study revealed (and we all probably instinctively know this) “humour is highly effective in producing emotional reactions across generations. This is especially true for younger generations for whom humour is an important and integral part of successful advertising. By making users laugh, smile or even to just exhibit a bit of personality, humour and wit could very well lead to the better brand experience and personal connection consumers are wanting and willing to share.

3. Quality video

Younger audiences are more discerning consumers of video. The Collage Group found that this group “spends so much time watching user-generated content, they’re appreciative of tactical elements that lead to good videos. Millennials and Gen-Z is more likely to respond positively to executional elements including music and complex editing.”

Bottom line is quality and content matter in every element across every medium and don’t skimp on attention to detail and execution.

Rohan Berzins
Creative Director – Boldfish


Rohan is the founder of the brand-led creative agency Boldfish ( specialising in brand strategy, campaigns and communications. He brings a wealth of experience having worked with a diverse range clients and industry sectors ranging from startups right through to global leaders for over 18 years.