Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Speed Reading as a Sales Tactic?

I'm not a speed reader myself. When the writing is good, I like to savor it.  (When the writing is bad, I find something better to read.) So I never really gave much though to how quickly I could actually read.

But a Honda commercial from advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy London not only invites the viewer to think about it, it puts it to the test. Check this out:
This is the 55-second version. There's also a 45-second version and a 20-second version. Same commercial, only it flies by faster, encouraging you to, as the commercial says, push yourself to go faster.

The commercial itself is, well, neat. More to the point, though, I was surprised by how well I could read the words as they popped onto the screen. At least, for the 55-second version. It got me wondering about different uses for this type of high-speed text delivery. It does require a bit more concentration on the part of the viewer, especially as the speed escalates, but I see some possibilities here.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is a glimpse of the next generation of closed captioning. Captions delivered like this could better transmit the natural rhythms of speech. And because they take up such little space, they could be overlaid near the on-screen speaker's head, instead of drawing viewers' eyes away from the action in the middle of the screen and down to the bottom.

Gets my my imagination going.

Have you ever seen the type of text delivery used in this commercial used anywhere else? Or used it yourself?