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How Much Can You Remember?

We played a game at a baby shower for an employee. Someone brought out a tray with random items on it and we were supposed to look at it for about 30 seconds and then write down everything we could remember.

While my memory is not quite photographic, I was the hands-down winner, getting sixteen of the twenty-two items down on paper in the allotted time – 73%. The next closest was eleven items or 50%. Most people had in the five to nine range. And that was after being asked to pay attention.

Just imagine how much less you would have noticed if the tray came around while you were engaged in conversation, or driving a car, or making breakfast?

Yet that is what most businesses expect out of their radio ads. I know. I used to be one of them. I used to tell my radio and TV people that I couldn’t use 30-second spots because I couldn’t say all I needed to say in less than 60 seconds. Until I realized that the more I said, the less people remembered.

Try to make five points in your radio or TV ad and even the customers paying attention are likely to only remember one or two of those five points. The ones cooking bacon won’t remember a thing. So give up on the notion of saying everything in every ad.

Make only one point. Make the only point they need to remember, the one point that will move the needle. Make one point and make it so interesting that even the bacon chef will sit up and take notice. Make that one point often enough and they’ll have to remember it.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS Three things you can do to get people to notice your ads and notice your business…

  1. Tell a story that relates to your Core Values.
  2. Tell it in as few words as possible.
  3. Make only one point.
Do all three over and over again and your advertising will get you the results you want.

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