Shocking Amplification

Modal Dissonance


At the APG Battle, Marie Oldham from MPG spoke about the effect that time shifted viewing has on modal planning.

Modal planning was a big thing in media planning a few years ago, based on the insight that the cognitive mode the person is when they receive the message affects how communication is processed. So when you watch Friends on a Friday night, to use her anachronistic example, and see and a sponsorship ident, you are in Friday night entertain me mode I've forgotten to go out and don't want to think about it, and the style of the communication should be tailored accordingly.

Marie's nice [as in accurate] insight is that time shifted viewing chucks all this out the window. When you're watching Friends on Sunday morning off the PVR you are in Oh dear god my head hurts don't shout please I did remember to go out last night and I'm pretty sure I made a fool of myself mode. Thus the communication results in modal dissonance, [a term I've partially stolen from the idea of cognitive dissonance].

Of course, this has been the case since vcrs but there are new media habits emerging, like media bingeing, that alters this even further - watch 6 episodes back to back with the same idents and the irritation factor kicks in pretty quickly.

Marie's solution was similar to something we've spoken about before - an adserving model for television, combined with an idea that seems to be gaining currency all over the place: trading your personal information for more relevant advertising, which makes sense but feels slightly... uncomfortable.

BT's chief Futurologist, Ian Pearson, has suggested an alternative solution: ambient intelligence. When the devices we consume content via have a degree of intelligence, we can maintain the privacy of our data and still receive personalised, relevant, contextually tailored communication.

Urban spam is dead! Long live ambient intelligence!

UPDATE: You can see more of Marie's thoughts on this here.