How many seconds do you think it takes for the average person to accept or deny your product or pitch? Well, it depends on the person, their age and how flooded they are with constant digital stimulation. But the average human attention span is now 8 seconds which is slightly less than an average goldfish according to this Telegraph article.

That means that your product has to figure out how to use one image and less than ten words to convey “You want to buy my product”.

And to top it all off, most people it turns out do not want to be sold anything. No, they only want to be told everything. That is, people respond to commands and questions more than they respond to sales pitches.

Take this for example. I saw a popular ad for the University of Phoenix that looks like this.

So I decided to make my own ad for University of Phoenix that applies what I am talking about … this is a little off the cuff …

Which one do you like more? Most marketers will say things like, what does an elephant have to do with our product? Or, I think our ad needs to be more informative and professional so that people will get it.

But most daily consumers of ads would much rather look at a cool picture of an elephant clearly having fun in a waterfall than a fake nurse staring at the camera with an actress rendition of “I really love my job.” What would you rather see plastered all over the walls, the subway systems, the bank and the internet.

All I am saying is, does it really matter? Who is clicking your ad anyway? Most likely it is someone who is already familiar with your product and already understands what it is. Most likely they have already been told by a friend to buy your product as word of mouth still accounts for most of your sales.

So what is really the point of an ad? The point is simple. Remind them of how cool you are. You are so cool, that you don’t even need to sell your product. You can simply promote an idea. Pick a concept that you think is important for humans to understand, and hopefully while they are consuming that, they accidentally stumble down the path a few steps and find your product further down the hall.

Are elephants smarter than humans? Well, it turns out that they have an incredible capacity for multitasking and mind mapping that far exceeds ours. Check out this Scientific American article about elephants.

The real question behind this question is what do we define as intelligent? Being able to read and write and use cell phones? Or is there something more to it than that?

In any case, this elephant is definitely smarter than me to be happily hanging out underneath that perfectly refreshing waterfall rather than spending time writing this article which many people will not read since it is way more than 8 seconds long. Maybe I should go find that waterfall.