Posts Tagged ‘made to stick’

Real is the new Real

May 14, 2013

Real emotions win. People can tell the difference between real and fake. That’s why actors get paid so much becayuse the best of them can convince us what they’re feeling is real.

This Target spot is interesting, highlighting Target’s investment in education in a very raw real way. They could have told you how much money they invest (in fact they do, though I can’t the life of me remember that number, can you), they could have told you how many students they help or why a college education is so important. In other words they could have stuck to the facts. Instead they focused on the emotion.

I’ve been re-reading the classic “Made to Stick,” there’s a point they make in the book: “Statisitcs are rarely meaningful in and of themselves. Statistics will, and should almost always be used to illustrate a relationship. It’s more important for people to remember the relationship than the number.”

What are you going to remember from this commercial?

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A good story should connect the dots

May 8, 2013

Last time Terry McAufliffe ran for governor he lost the primary. I think I looked at his ads back then and thought they looked inauthentic.

He’s running again, no primary this time, are his ads any better?

This is one of those ads that tries to connect the dots, but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to walk away thinking. I thought the first part about where he talks about starting a business was interesting, but then it veers into family and creating jobs. I’ve been slowly re-reading the classic book “Made to Stick.” In the chapter on Simple (one of the rules of SUCCESS), the say (wisely) that if you say three things you aren’t saying anything.

That’s kinda how I feel about this ad. It’s sort of a broad brush paint by numbers approach, that pretends to tell you something but really doesn’t say anything particularly interesting. They hit all the highlights for me, but don’t really tell me a story that puts all the pieces together. Is he a hard worker? Self starter? Family guy? How exactly does he know (other than a poll) that Viriginia wants good jobs? A good story can create a framework, something to unify those elements. A good story can be told either in the text or subtext, but this ad does neither, so I’m left just watching a bunch of blah, blah, blah.

What works for presentations

August 4, 2010

Good tips from the Dan Health, co-author of the brilliant “Made to Stick,” a must read for communications of all kinds.  The tips are about powerpoint presentations, but are just as relevant to political ads, especially the ads I’ve seen this year.

The rules in brief:

1. Be Simple

2. Show something

3. Tease before you tell

Here’s a link to the article.


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