You can primp and polish almost anything to make it gleam and glimmer, but making something beautiful doesn’t make it unique and doesn’t make it effective.
The same can be said with advertising and PR. You can devise the most astounding campaign that implements every creative tool in the book and then some, but if your message doesn’t resonate with people, you have lost.
This summer I had the privilege of attending the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where I absorbed the knowledge and advice advertising and PR professionals had to give about the ever-changing field in which they work. In the seminar “Nailing Jelly to a Tree & Other Wild Goose Chases” Dr. Itiel Dror joined Nir Wegrzyn to discuss how to make your advertising messages stick with your audience and have the effect that you desire.
Dr. Dror, a cognitive neuroscientist, stressed three points: making your messages into memories, encode those messages in the appropriate parts of the brain, tell a relevant story and tell it well. All of these components combined make it possible for us as advertisers (or aspiring advertisers) to divulge into human insight and to connect with our audience in a transparent and effective way.
Every day our minds take in thousands upon thousands of images filled with information. Whether it be on television, the Internet, social media, outside, or in magazines, everywhere you go there are advertising messages. There are so many that most people find them intrusive and choose to ignore them completely. At what point do we as advertisers realize that we can’t just splatter information across a page?
If I were to ask you to tell me your most vivid memory, I bet you could tell me everything down to the smell of the room and the clothes you were wearing. This is what advertisers must do. We must be strategic in our messaging strategies to not only catch the eye of the audience, but keep the eye of the audience and make our messages memorable. To do so we must tell stories. Not just any stories, stories that transport audiences into a setting or situation that is not part of their everyday lives, but that holds a connection in their brain.
My favorite books are the Harry Potter books, yes I am 100% aware they are meant to be children’s books, but I love them nonetheless. What makes this series so wonderful is that each reader becomes engrossed in the story of this boy wizard who suffers just like you and me. He struggles with love, friendship, life and death, good and evil; it hits almost every literary theme that relates to the human experience. Stories that people can relate to are memorable and effective. Take a page out of the world’s greatest authors’ books (literally) and you will see just how effective, creative, and memorable your messages will become.
What are you doing to make your stories (campaigns/messages) memorable?