November 23, 2009

Simple and sticky

Watch this American Express commercial for a perfect example of a sticky message. I guarantee that the message will stay with you, and the advertiser uses nothing more than simple images and music.

Of all the principles of a sticky idea, I think simplicity is my favorite. Presenting an idea simply can be a lot of work for the speaker in the preparation stage, but by the time it gets to the audience, they hardly have to work at all to understand it. Beautiful.

If you haven't yet read Chip and Dan Heath's book, "Made to Stick," I can't recommend it enough as a guide to creating unforgettable messages.

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8 comments. Please add yours! :

Sarah Gershman said...

I think this is a clever ad but I have to say I don't think it gets it's message across very well. I was too distracted by the faces to also listen to the corresponding words. In other words I was trying too hard to match up the faces to the specific words being said at that moment.


Lisa Braithwaite said...

I see what you mean, Sarah. Sometimes images can overwhelm the message.

Scott Braithwaite said...

Sarah couldn't be more wrong. Whatever my sister said was right on, though I'm not sure what it was because I got distracted by matching up the faces to the specific words to follow her. : )

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your support, bro. :-)

Jeff Bailey said...

Now, that was funny!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

My bro is a would-be standup comedian.

Evan Asher said...

So true. Distilling complex ideas down to their essence is a very challenging task. It's like writing poetry. But it makes for much more compelling messages if you can take the time to do it eloquently. It's a skill I struggle with, but I'm hoping Twitter's limits will help with that part of my brain.

"...brevity is the soul of wit..."
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet

"The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
-Thomas Jefferson

See? I can't even pick just one quote.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for contributing, Evan. I agree with Twitter's ability to change the way we think about distilling down information. Great learning and practicing tool!

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