While checking the Globe & Mail online news page (for April 17, 2014), I spotted one of those oddly combined pieces of sub-headlines that makes you stop & think. Constructing these simple lines is difficult – reaching multiple interests and engaging the audience. Keep in mind AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire & Action. So there at the top is Globe Watch video shot. A dramatic & emotional shot of a parent from the Korean Ferry disaster (Attention). Beneath the video link is the sub-heading to encourage ( Interest & Desire) the viewer to find out more and click the arrow ( Action) to activate the video. Take a close look at that sub- heading.
The command Watch in bold red capitals re-enforces arrow icon to take Action . Information about the motion capture shot of the grieving parent creates context to build Interest to know more. What follows is something to create Desire – things go a bit Surreal with an unintentional non-sequitur, “Plus, spring home-buying tips and DIY Easter egg recipe.” What happened here ? Target Audience.
Consider the three items of news. Each plays to a slightly different target audience. They are linked by a common thread – family. First hard emotional heightened news ( ferry disaster) that has strong family centre, then the shopping tips for home buyers , and finally family bonding with childhood activities/memories (Easter Eggs).
So while the the compressed sequence of news items are on one level ironic and unintentionally comic & surreal, on another they follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Basic Human needs are called on to draw in the viewer. Our concern for other, our desire for home, family & safety, and our desire for creative self-expression & spontaneity.
Note that the page was quickly updated for an audience that wants to be plugged in to the latest information. The follow line dropped the other items and replaced it with the stronger emotional last text messages from the ferry.
Just as quickly as other news became pushing aside events for the latest new information and news sources competed for target audience the Globe & Mail page shifted the top item to recent science discovery.