To create effective advertising, you have to do three things: Engage me. Intrigue me. Persuade me.
Add those three together and you get relevance, the holy grail for marketers. You got my attention, you said or did something that held my interest, and you inspired me to do something.
Let’s start at the end, with persuasion. This might be as simple as getting me to remember the brand name or associate the brand with a positive feeling. Stronger persuasion might get me to consider buying the product, or I may be inspired to share the ad with friends.
That’s the third act of a classic three-act structure, the climax and resolution of a story you can’t wait to share with friends and family. Think of a movie you watched over the weekend and recommended to colleagues on Monday. It’s the power of the third act that determines whether that movie was surprising or emotionally satisfying enough to remember days later.
Here’s some advice for any marketer clamoring for attention on social media: Pay more attention to movies that generate buzz through word-of-mouth. But instead of studying their marketing, deconstruct their storytelling. These days clients and agencies love to talk about the importance of storytelling, but most couldn’t describe the plot of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” without trying to explain the unique selling proposition for the blue fish.
That’s because marketers still emphasize rational over emotional and reach over relevance, but it doesn’t matter how many people you reach if they’re going to forget your message the next day.
The only thing that human beings can remember is a story.