“In a busy setting, do animation and sound in particular distract viewers from absorbing your messages, or do they help to draw attention? How much is too much?”
I believe that, in most cases, full-motion video with sound helps increase the chance that your message is effectively communicated to the target audience. At McCarran International Airport, we have worked with the local Convention Authority to create custom videos for the screens in the TSA Checkpoint areas. Local celebrities were used to help communicate the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ when going through the TSA Checkpoint process. We believe it is an effective way to both entertain and educate the passengers. In today’s environment, it is increasingly more challenging to grab and keep the attention of passengers, especially the younger demographic, so the more senses that can be captured by your intended message, the less susceptible the viewer is to outside distractions. That being said, the TSA checkpoint only really has the one message (follow protocol) to focus on, whereas in other areas of the airport, there can be competing messages between retailers, restaurants and airport messaging. In these instances, it can indeed be a challenge to not overstimulate the viewer. Fortunately, I believe today’s average passenger is also more adept at sifting out the unwanted information.