By the time I can count to eight, some of you will have already clicked out of this article. While I can’t entirely disassociate that from my writing skills, here’s the truth: The average human attention span is eight seconds. According to a 2015 study by Microsoft, that’s down from 12 seconds in 2000.

So what gives? Well for starters, we entered the new millennium without Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or YouTube. Basically, the internet had yet to evolve into the stimulating entertainment it is today. But this is 2017 and you have a short window of time to capture consumers’ attention. Here’s what you need to know:

Speed Is The Name Of The Game

You need to be fast, your website needs to be fast, and your response rate needs to be fast. Consumers aren’t waiting around for your brand, so your ability to connect to them is crucial. Always respond to online comments and questions promptly, and have a website loads quickly and has clear information. Consumers only need one reason (or eight seconds) to divert their attention to something else. However, if you’re responsive and efficient, you’ll give them a reason to stay.


When it comes to social media management, don’t just respond quickly. Respond with something of value! Depending on context and brand voice, you can utilize witty jokes or funny memes. Arby’s and Old Spice are two brands that do a great job of this.

Offline, you can engage potential customers with fun events or freebies. Summertime is a particularly good time to do so, as people are itching to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Consider hosting a free cookout or giving away popsicles—anything that will stand out and intrigue consumers. Strong engagement is the best way to capture and retain their attention.


The road to advertising success is simple. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s simple. So scrap the text-heavy, complicated ads. If your consumers have an attention span of about eight seconds, do you really expect them to read the paragraph of information on your flier? No way. Instead, use sharp graphics and a few key words to communicate your message. (I.e. Don’t overwhelm your audience with multiple messages. Stick to one). There’s a lot more to say on this topic, but this is the basic, simple gist of it.

Shortened attention spans have definite implications for advertisers. However, speed, interaction, and simplicity will help you stay ahead of the curve and advertise effectively for your brand.



Creative Spot is a full-service marketing and advertising agency in Columbus, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your organization with attention-grabbing advertising, please contact us.