The next time you see an awesome ad ask these 6 questions – Your “Aha” moment is guaranteed!

There are literally hundreds of ads which we are subject to, each and every day of our lives. While majority of them are crap, once in a while, there are some memorable gems which touch our hearts.

Here is one of them, which I came across recently..

In a world, where our attention time span is decreasing day by day..

How in the world, does this ad manage to get us engaged for 4 long minutes?

Are there some underlying patterns across these memorable ads which we can make use of while communicating our ideas?

While I don’t expect most of us having to shoot ads for a livelihood, but irrespective of whatever profession we are in, inevitably majority of us have to communicate our ideas in some form or the other. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find the secrets of these ad makers and use it for our own communication..

Hang on and soon we will find them out..

The Dan brothers to the rescue..

As always, thankfully instead of us having to do all the hard work, we have two super cool brothers to our rescue.

  • Chip Heath, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Dan Heath, a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center and previously a  researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School

Image result for chip and dan heath

They have written a mind blowing book on what makes certain “ideas” sticky (i.e remembered easily and for a long time)

Let us find out what the Heath brothers have to tell us..

6 Traits Of Ideas That Stick

Most of the ideas which are communicated well have 6 traits in common:

  1. Simple
  2. Unexpected
  3. Concrete
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Stories

This can be remembered by the acronym – SUCCESs

Image result for made to stick


1.Simple:

Image result for simple can be harder than complex

Strip down your message to the single most important idea that you want the audience to remember!

In other words as the famous saying goes – Keep It Simple, Stupid

Does the ad do this?

Yup. It communicates the single core idea –
Samsung will take care of you, wherever you are!


2.Unexpected:

When things become routine for us and have become familiar through repetition, our conscious mind stops paying attention to them.

Further our minds are always guessing “What next” and if the communication is in line with our guessing pattern then we easily get bored!

The key to capture our attention is to – Break that familiar pattern! 

There should be an unexpected, surprise element!

Image result for break the patterndan heath

Does the ad do this?

Yes again.

On reaching the home of the customer, the engineer is taken aback to see that the customer (a young girl) is visually impaired. We are surprised too and left wondering as to why a visually impaired girl would want her TV repaired. This moment breaks our guessing pattern. The curiosity is further triggered as she calls all her other visually impaired friends to watch the repaired TV.


3.Concrete:

People need to be able to clearly see in their mind what you’re describing!

Instead of an abstract explanation the idea must be explained in terms of clear human action, sensory information and concrete things.

Does the ad do this?

“We service all places in India” would have obviously been abstract.

But instead the ad spends time, detailing the journey to establish a beautiful remote place with flowing landscape of roads, hills and rivers. The road blocks in the form of sheeps, rickety-looking suspension bridge, fallen trees etc  paint a concrete picture of the “remoteness” factor of the location.


4.Credible:

The idea should be inherently believable – otherwise we dismiss them immediately.

Does the ad do this?

Samsung Cares - Samsung With You Forever

The ad has some great actors who make the whole story relatable and believable.

The best thing that adds to the credibility factor is the fact that the ad avoids the usual models and has used real life special kids across India from across India. The lead Drishti is extremely adorable and the voice of the kid who sings is simply out of the world.


5.Emotional:

Appeal to the heart, not the mind.

Image result for heart over brain

An appeal to the emotions is a great recipe for successful communication. It should evoke emotions, make us feel something – and in doing so it should make us care.

We all think with our head but always act from our heart.

Does the ad do this?

Of course. Its a heart warming story which pulls all the right emotional strings.

Be it the soul stirring background song, the poetic lyrics, the innocence of the lead girl, the heart tugging blind hostel situation, the warmth of the special children, the captivating voice of the singer in the reality show – the campaign for sure makes an emotional connect with us and touches us in a really special way.


6.Stories:

We remember stories more than statistics!

Image result for stories

We all love a good story which has a simple plot, contains unexpected twists, expressed in a language that helps us feel, see and touch it, is relatable and credible an appeals to our emotions.

Does the ad do this?

Do you remember the television brands which usually talk about some impressive features – such as high-definition picture quality, surround sound system, movie theatre like attributes in its ad film?

Nah..

But the reason you do remember this one is because the heart and soul of the entire ad is its storytelling.

A Samsung service engineer, who undaunted by rough terrain, reaches a house in a remote hilly area to repair a television. But what he thought was a normal phone call turns out to be a special one…

The joy of bringing a little smile to the bunch of visually impaired special kids who could finally listen to their friend sing on the TV.. Priceless.

He leaves the customer’s home with a smile on his face..and then it goes..

“At times one must venture a little further than usual for the sake of relationships”

And it just couldn’t get more beautiful than that..

 

Conclusion – Go read the book!

And yup..see the ad again 🙂

Wow.. Now you know why the ad is so interesting and memorable 🙂

I have just given you the gist of the SUCCESs framework (and have obviously done grave injustice to the actual contents of the book) and hence would highly recommend you to check the actual book out.

The next time you find an awesome presentation, speech or ad. Just check on how many of six traits of the SUCCESs framework does it tick. Also do it for ads that don’t make the cut.

I am sure your “Aha” moment is guaranteed:)

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Author: Arun

Hey! I'm Arun and I work for the research team of a boutique wealth management firm based out of Chennai. The idea behind this space is to share my learnings/mistakes and hopefully help people in making better investment decisions :)

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