Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Memorability and advertising

The chart above can be found in this paper:

Link to paper here

It demonstrates the tendency of the mind to recall events and stories that contain unexpected ("counter-intuitive" in the chart) elements better than stories that are largely mundane -- without any surprising aspects to them. The key to maximizing memory recall appears to be optmizing the amount of unexected material in a story -- the more you add, the more memory degrades. Perhaps this because too much discord is created in the mind, as it seeks to follow a message or story.

As we think of advertising and messaging research, is the key to identifying an effective message the likeability or relevance of the message, general recall of the message against a norm, or the specific kinds of drivers for the recall?

How can messaging research be improved to better understand how and which drivers for recall are most effective at optimizing memory creation and retention?

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