Up Next: Pavlovian Phantom Rings To Make You Pay Attention
from the wait...-is-that-my-phone? dept
In the last few years, I’ve noticed that there are certain noises that make me think my mobile phone is ringing (even though my phone is perpetually in vibrate mode, so as not to bother anyone). A few songs always make me reach for my phone and for some reason, a noise played by Fox Sports at the beginning of every inning of baseball games they broadcast always makes me wonder if my phone is ringing. It can actually get annoying. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so. The concept of the “phantom ring,” where certain noises make people think their phone is ringing, is suddenly getting a lot of attention. It seems that people are so trained to jump whenever their phone rings, that many of us have been mentally trained to pay extra attention to the possibility that our phones are ringing. Where this gets extra interesting is the suggestion that advertisers might use this to their advantage, and incorporate certain “phantom ring” noises into advertisements — causing people to pay extra attention. The advertisers in the article deny it — but others insist that the rise of such noises on TV is anything but an accident. Chances are, now that the NY Times has run this article, that a lot more advertisers will start doing this on purpose, though. Of course, maybe that will get more of us to move to Motorola’s “shock me” phone, so that we no longer have to listen for rings.