Are You Watching Closely?

Posted on April 25, 2018

This chilling line sent a shock down my spine the first time I heard it while watching The Prestige. For anyone who has watched the movie, you know what I’m talking about.

This is the same question I ask myself almost daily when it comes to the eyeballs of the end consumer. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a marketer. Typically after that, I get the question that makes me squirm, and that is, “what are your passions, or hobbies?”. You see, I don’t really have hobbies or interests outside of business and marketing. I live between my ears 99% of the time, and unless you’re talking to me about business or marketing I’m quite boring to talk to. What I’m passionate about is what you’re passionate about. In short, I am passionate about your attention, and the attention of whomever I am thinking about at the time.

This can be problematic, as my beautiful wife can attest with a fun story about the last Opera we went to.

During the intermission, I noticed in the row ahead of me four children between the ages of 12 and 17, and I immediately became fixated on where their attention was … their phones. They were using Snapchat in a way I hadn’t seen someone use it before. Instead of texting, they were simply taking photos of the floor and typing on top of the blank image. Fascinated I immediately tapped one of them on the shoulder and asked, “why are you not just texting” and I immediately realized a 14-year-old is not interested in talking to a stranger about what they are doing on their phone. As I scanned down the aisle I was met with the perplexed gaze of who I assume was their father, again wondering why I was engaging his daughter in a conversation about my watching what they were doing on their phones.

Meanwhile my wife is just 🤦‍♀️

Funny (and embarrassing) story aside, I think we all need to collectively ask ourselves, “are we paying attention to consumer attention?”.

Over the past few weeks, a Twitch streamer by the name of Ninja held an event in Vegas, where he and a group of elite gamers got together to play Fortnite. I know the majority of this audience probably doesn’t pay attention to what goes on with eSports (if you do, hats off to you!) but I hope the rest of this article changes your mind.

You may not be paying attention to eSports, but I promise your kids are, along with anyone under the age of 24.  

At this event, Ninja broke the concurrent viewer record with over 660,000 viewers. That over half a million people watching a dude play a video game. But if you’re paying attention you realize that is over half a million eyeballs focused in on a signal stream, and the price of those eyeballs in 2018 is CHEAP.

With a combined 244,740,893 views in the past 30 days, it is clear that the “up and coming” are transitioning to the “established”, and advertisers need to take this into consideration. eSports (and the top 5 streamers combined) are posting numbers that rival events like the NBA & MLB playoffs. So if you’re marketing to anyone under the age of 25, I highly encourage you to get stuck into this space.

This is a single example of the emerging markets on the horizon of advertisers. If you’re still debating internally using influencer marketing or non-traditional digital media I’ve really only got one question…

“Are YOU Watching Closely?”