Add Elements From Their Top-Down Attention

Insert cues that viewers are actively monitoring.

Nick Kolenda
Updated on
Woman looking at ad who is searching for something specific

Humans have two types of attention:

  • Top-Down. You look for something specific
  • Bottom-Up. You monitor what’s noticeable.

One day, while waiting for The Office to return, I was fiddling with my phone, listening for a cue from the show to know when it returned. When I heard the character Darryl speaking, I looked at the TV. But I wasn’t was the actor, Craig Robinson, in an unrelated commercial.

This advertiser took a cue from The Office—the voice of Craig Robinson—and inserted this cue into their commercial. This commercial pierced my attention because my brain was actively searching for this cue.