When I was in 5th grade, I attended the Future Stars Basketball Camp in Lake Forest, Illinois. And though my team won the camp championship (in your face, Red Team), what I remember most about the entire experience is making friends with a fellow camper over a shared appreciation of the album “Fear of a Black Planet” by Public Enemy. In one short conversation, we formed a bond that lasted 4 days. An eternity in 5th grade time.
Now, on our best days, we advertising professionals are in the friendship business. We help brands jumpstart the process of becoming pals with consumers.
And according to research by University of Kansas Communications Professor Jeffery Hall (which requires a subscription, so you’ll either have to sign up or read this nice analysis), friendship takes time. Like, a lot of time.
On average, you’ll need to spend:
- About 50 hours with someone before they’re considered a casual friend
- About 90 hours before they’re promoted to “friend”
- And about 200 hours before you’re besties
That’s one long, consecutive media buy. And if we were to apply those friendship-making numbers to advertising, it would seem to make the argument to get your message out as frequently as possible.
But as it turns out, the key to building close relationships, more quickly, is to have more meaningful interactions. Again, applied to advertising, this appears to favor quality over quantity. Which means telling your brand’s story in an authentic way that people will appreciate and actively engage with—just like having a conversation with a close friend.
Of course an ideal brand-ship is built on high-quality, strategic creative and a precision-targeted, fully-optimized media plan. But in lieu of that, you can always just go the Future Stars Basketball Camp route and bond with consumers over a shared appreciation of “911 is a Joke.” (That’s peak Flavor Flav right there.)
Have a nothing but net weekend, everyone.
– Your always friendly friends at Brokaw
*For more on making friends, check out the great Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog