How many digital campaigns are you exposed to daily? You might be surprised to learn that the answer is a few thousands – most of them undercover. What does this mean for you if you’re an online advertiser? That you have to work extra hard to stand out. That’s where the ‘wow effect’ comes into play, and if you haven’t heard of it yet, now’s an excellent time.
What’s it all about?
The ‘wow effect’, as its name pretty much gives away, is what makes the person exposed to your campaign say ‘wow’. This reaction can be extracted in different ways, but the key is to have something very unordinary in your campaign that will make ignoring it impossible – and forgetting it improbable. We asked Orel Asformas, the owner of Viking Media and an expert in marketing solutions, to make it a bit more clear. “My philosophy is that the more bizarre your marketing strategy is, the better. People see a lot of the same online, which means that anything out of the ordinary has more chance of sticking out.”
How do you reach it?
Being unordinary may sound complex but it’s much easier than you think. A lot of campaigners try to sell their product by arousing positive feelings such as happiness and satisfaction toward it and negative feelings such as fear and disappointment toward their competitors or toward a situation where the product is not used.
That means you need to think of a different tactic, and to think first and foremost about how to draw the viewer’s eye. This is the first principle of obtaining the ‘wow effect’, and it is usually achieved through sparking an emotion in the viewer. This doesn’t mean they need to like what they see. It means they need to be enticed by it. Fear and shock can sometimes be more enticing than attraction.
Perhaps starting your ad with footage of an accident can do the job. Think of yourself going through your Facebook feed and seeing a video that starts with a car shred to pieces. That would certainly get your attention, wouldn’t it?
Got your attention. What now?
Once the viewer wants to see your ad, you need to think of the message you want to deliver. In this case, it’s important for it to stick in the viewer’s mind and stay there as long as possible, and that’s the second principle of obtaining the ‘wow effect’. Your message needs to be completely different from what other advertisers deliver, and it needs to be something the viewer didn’t see coming. Don’t shove yourself in the viewer’s face, try to stay in their subconscious.
This may sound confusing, so let’s try and simplify things. You need not show the potential consumer why they should buy what you’re selling, but rather make the product stay in their head. Perhaps causing them to make a mental connection between an extraordinary event and your product can do the job. If we go back to the previous example, having that car crash into a big sign with your product’s logo is certainly a possibility.
Have that connection? It’s time to set the bait
Ready for the third principle of obtaining the ‘wow effect’? Once you’ve gotten the attention of the viewer and your product has entered their subconscious, you need your advertisement to be something they won’t forget for a long time. This is obtained by extremity: If your ad is funny, make it the funniest thing they’ll see today. If it’s frightening, it needs to be extra spooky, etc.
Let’s finish off the example we have started with. Say our driver from the accident steps out of the car and sees the damage. He doesn’t seem disturbed by it, but then he looks at your product’s logo on the sign, gets very upset and says out loud, “damn, I forgot to buy (your product’s name)”. Rest assured, your product is going to stay in the viewer’s mind for quite a while, and guess what they’re going to think of next time they’re at the grocery store…
There you have it: the ‘wow effect’ In three steps. You’ve managed to enter the viewer’s head and plant your product there more effectively than a thousand other ads did. Now it’s time to give it a try, but you must remember that there’s a thin line between unorthodox and unacceptable in the advertising world, so you should consider hiring a marketing wizard with experience to get you on the right path. As Orel Asformas summed it: “A true marketing professional would know just how to step on that line but not cross it.”