We have a Sunday evening tradition in my house.
Around 6:30 or so, the four of us eat dinner. We talk about all the fun we had over the weekend. And, we share what we are looking forward to in the new week ahead.
Then, after everyone has had their fill, we retire to the couch, where we have dessert and watch Americas Funniest Home Videos, which resides en masse on our DVR. It’s cheesy and fun and always makes us laugh together.
We almost always fast-forward through the commercials.
Every once in a while, we don’t.
Every once in a while, an ad just grabs us.
This past Sunday was one of those once-in-a-whiles.
We saw a GREAT and familiar ad.
- We watched it another three times. (THREE times!)
- Even though we’ve seen it before, once again we wiped tears from our eyes.
- And, we discussed why it is still so great.
It got me thinking…
Why does some content grab our attention with what seems like little effort…while other content kicks and screams for it and is casually ignored?
There’s got to be a blueprint, right? Steps to take to make your communications and content more memorable…
I think there just might be.
First, let’s take a look at this incredible ad:
This car ad was created by big-time advertising agency Carmichael Lynch. But you don’t have to be an advertising genius to churn out great content.
Here’s a blueprint to follow—taken from how this ad is so effective—to make your content stand out:
Know your audience
Construct your messaging around the loves and concerns of your audience instead of around your product features and benefits. The most important thing should be your potential buyers, not your company or product.
Make an immediate connection
Take note of the first word you hear in this ad. What is it?
Grab that immediate connection by starting with YOU. It’s not about me…it’s about YOU. This whole enchilada is about YOU.
[Note: this does not mean you literally must start with the word, “you.” It does mean you should appeal to your audience IMMEDIATELY.]
If you truly understand your audience—what moves them…what worries them….makes them laugh…makes them cry—you know their cares.
If you genuinely recognize the cares of your audience, you’ll connect with them on a different level.
Use an element of surprise
The music lulls you in.
The prose is comforting.
And then…BAM. The danger reveals itself in an unexpected flash.
Surprise is key because you remember it. Use it to reinforce your core message. In the case of this ad, that’s safety. On the roads—where danger can appear in a flash—driving the right car is the best way to keep those you love safe.
Let imagination create the connection
At the moment of impact, we see a split second, and then the screen goes white.
Your imagination takes over. You finish the scene in your head.
What was that? What happened? How is everyone?
“Honey are you OK?”
By letting your imagination connect the dots, the ad has created connection to the mom and child in the car. Your human nature makes you think the worst instinctively. It’s why when the tagline comes—”Love.” [We’re OK.] “It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.”—it is so effective.
Creating content that grabs attention and holds on to it over time is not easy.
Make the effort, and take these actions, and you’ll see a difference in yours.
[this post was originally published on LinkedIn. you can see it here.]
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Hi. I’m Zach Messler, and I help people become better communicators.
When an idea is communicated in a clear, concise, and compelling way, it has the power to change the world. That’s why I believe communication is the key to achieving anything.
Unfortunately, most great ideas will never see the light of day. Why? Because mastering this is hard.
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