What are some of your favorite ads? Can you think of one?
I know for me, my favorite ads usually either make me laugh or inspire me. Geico has some of the funniest ads going right now with Marco Polo, or the one with Ice T at the Lemonade Stand. Yes they’re corny, but they crack me up.
As far as inspirational ads go, Nike put out one of the most moving ads I’ve seen with their Find Your Greatness commercial called The Jogger. I love that it’s completely different than the usual energy and movement of other Nike ads. It’s just so real and authentic. Incidentally, I once met a person who pronounces Nike like it rhymes with “bike” instead of “nigh-kee”. It was really odd.
In our completely sensory-assaulting world, it takes a lot to stay in peoples’ memories. As you think through some of the commercials and ads you’ve encountered, I’m betting that the ones that stuck with you had at least two of three major elements that make messages memorable:
- Present something new – capture attention
- Forge a Connection – hold attention
- Create an Experience – reinforce the encounter, make it memorable
Our brains love new things. Our minds automatically pay attention to new information, new experiences, and even old information packaged in a new way. We’re hard-wired to take note of new things. Think of it like a hold over survival instinct.
There are endless ways to present something new; it just takes some creativity. It can be as simple as shifting perspective or as complex as breaking down years of research into some key points. What you present is really determined by the purpose of the message.
But, by giving people new information in a way that’s relevant to them, it’s much more likely that you’ll capture their attention. And of course, if you want someone to pay attention to you, you should start by getting their attention… Thanks Captain Obvious!
FORGE A CONNECTION
As you can imagine, getting attention isn’t too difficult. Keeping attention… well that’s seemingly impossible these days. So how can you keep someone listening to you?
At the end of the day, people crave connection. Reach out to people and connect with them. Forge emotional experiences, be authentic, reveal your passion and heart. When we experience emotion, it strengthens our memory of the moment.
As a company, forging a deeper connection with customers takes the relationship beyond just being transactional. It allows customers to identify with the company, to get emotionally invested and become advocates and ambassadors for the company.
Forging that connection is simple but it requires the right approach. And it starts with injecting emotional elements into messaging and communications.
CREATE AN EXPERIENCE
So we caught and held attention, but how do we make the message really stick? Fortunately, getting attention and forging a connection help create memories, but to really solidify memory, we need to create an experience.
Making a message experiential really depends on the format. For a speech, making it experiential could mean high impact pictures, demonstrations, or even something like standing in silence for an uncomfortable amount of time to drive a point home, anything that shocks or catches the audience off guard. With videos, it means engrossing stories, authentic people, or unexpected twists. For text or web it could mean graphics, an interactive layout, or compelling multimedia. Regardless of the format, find a way to make the message an experience for the viewer.
Think of your message like a rope. Each of these elements serve as a strand that is woven into the rope. With each strand you add, you make the rope stronger. Adding an experiential element reinforces the strength of the message and creates a longer lasting memory.
The goal is to make your message real, relatable, and unforgettable. It is critical to break out of the box in how you present that information and make it as much of an experience as possible.
For those of you who could use some help coming up with specific ways to inject newness, emotion, and experience into your messages or brand, the Running Robot team is here to help. Our job is to make our clients’ messages stick. We want our clients communicating with their customers in a way that’s unforgettable, that cuts through the white noise, and sticks with their customers long after the customers have moved on to other things.
If you need to strengthen or build your brand, launch products or services, advertise, communicate to or train employees, or get your story out there and let other people connect with you, we’re ready to help.