The next time you go out in public, pay attention to how many advertisements you see. How many products are prominently displayed?
Now, the second part: how many do you remember the brand? How many could you recall the name of even a week later?
This is the challenge of modern-day advertising. The competition is nightmarishly steep. You not only have to deal with fellow small companies, entrepreneurs, and disruptive new markets, but also mega-corporations with budgets more than some businesses make in a year.
So how do you become memorable? What tricks can make advertising stick? Well, here’s three—and don’t be surprised if you’ve experienced them all.
Number 1: Repetition.
You may have heard of the Rule of Seven. It’s the idea that once a person has seen an advertisement seven times, they’re more likely to buy.
The sad part is this may not be true anymore. It might not be enough repetition. But the core principle is solid. You can probably rattle off several major brands if you’re an avid podcast listener or watch YouTubers with sponsored videos. You can because they keep putting those brands in your face until you’d never forget them. Name a mobile game. Name a meal substitution drink. Name a website that helps you make your own websites.
See what I mean?
Number 2: Memes.
This is highly modern and may seem ridiculous if you don’t use the internet a lot. But making meme advertisements can help bypass some of the cynicism around ads.
For our purposes, a meme advertisement is any promotion effort that’s weird, silly, odd, or meant to make people pay attention out of sheer bewilderment. If you do a double-take, you looked at it twice.
Even passing amusement is still engagement in an attention economy, and that’s enough to stick a product in someone’s mind. And because people like to share funny and ridiculous things with their friends, you can get word of mouth.
Number 3: Stance Advertisements
This is more controversial—sometimes on purpose. It’s an advertisement that comments on something in society.
They’ll often address a company’s stance on a hot-button topic. Or state the company’s values. If a company is committed to not using some chemicals in their food—like artificial sweeteners—they might have advertisements that talk about this specifically. They’ll use imagery that either promotes that stance or demonizes the alternative.
If the topic resonates with the viewer, they’re more likely to remember it the next time they’re shopping.
There are so many brands today. Too many options—and everyone’s busy. When someone is shopping for something new, they don’t want to comparison shop. They want to choose quickly and feel happy about that choice.
Being memorable helps them pick you. Establishing a connection, no matter its basis, is how you do that.