Sometimes, we desire to do just that [ask for anyone to spend several hours doing any one thing], but there’s a huge cognitive barrier even starting one of these larger tasks. I also think that’s why we’re seeing the rise of “binge watching”. It may not be that we don’t want to spend a lot of time doing something — it’s that it’s too hard to dive into a huge time commitment. It’s much easier to dive into a small time commitment and keep going if you’re doing something you enjoying.
Rather than trying to cram your content into people’s busy lives, why not tailor your content to fill in the cracks in the day and go from there?
This is true for content time slots and understanding our role in people's daily routine. It's also true for format and the means to access content. Mobile usage will only accelerate this, as will the fragmentation of social networks into smaller focused apps.
A year and a half ago I had a conversation with an advertising agency CEO where he clearly stated that what he did (above the line work) was the main course of a dinner party. And he needed someone to work the "snacks" part (that would be the social media strategy). I don't think he ever meant it as a compliment.
Today, snacks play a much bigger role than we ever thought. Our competitors are more than competing brands and internet memes. We're up against consumers' busy lives, overall content surplus, goldfish-like attention spans and general indifference towards what we do. So most of the time we need to think in terms of easily digested bits and pieces, not hour-long dinner parties.
Big steaks are pretty cool, but how do you carry them to eat on the go?