Quick… finish the following sentences…
1). The Best Part of Waking Up is ___________________?
2). Plop, plop… Fizz, Fizz__________________________?
3). We are stuck on Band Aids because ________________?
1). …Folgers in Your Cup! (Folgers Coffee)
2). …oh what a relief it is! (Alka-Seltzer)
3). …Band Aids are stuck on me! (Band Aids First Aid strips)
Not too hard to finish these jingles if you’re around forty years old and up. Pretty amazing that a little song heard thirty or forty or fifty years ago can stay in the mind that long, and imprint itself so powerfully! So does this mean that the ultimate goal of advertising and communications design should be endless repetition, until the slogan has so taken up residence in the mind of the audience that they literally cannot forget it, even decades later?
Hardly. Because the truth is that the age old adage that name brand recognition is everything simply does not hold true any longer. Recent studies have proven that while repetition engenders recognition, recognition does not necessarily lead to consumer choice. In fact, studies show that amongst a more highly educated and prosperous consumer base, recognition is not nearly as powerful a determinant in consumer choice as other factors. Contemporary women and men more often than not choose products with little to zero name recognition over those that have overwhelmingly strong recognition. For example, a beer whose musical jingle or advertising themes are completely known by such consumers has less actual appeal than an unknown beer that has other qualities which are more highly sought after. Qualities such as craftsmanship and process are now more highly valued attributes than mere name, brand or advertising recognition and familiarity. While more simplistic and repetitious forms of communication sufficed for people of yesteryear, today’s consumer has moved beyond this level of interaction. For this reason people today are much more skeptical and jaded with regard to mere “sloganeering”.
At the same time, they are much more sophisticated consumers. A person today is more likely to choose their beer – for example – because they actually know much more about the brewing process, have been exposed to foreign and high-end varieties, are interested in sampling new and exotic blends, and are intrigued by new trends like local micro-breweries and the “slow” food movement.
What has not changed, however – and is in fact more important than ever – is the need for good communications design. This is because an aesthetically pleasing and intriguing design forms the first psychological associations a potential consumer experiences when confronted with a new product or service. The sense of beauty and allure which a consumer experiences in good design is naturally related and connected to the object it expresses and communicates for.
The rise in the level of consumer sophistication makes it all the more important that design carries the capacity to communicate the qualities of interest, excitement and intrigue that contemporary people are looking for when they make their purchasing choices. Great communications design goes far beyond mindless repetition and name brand sloganeering; it works instead by stimulating legitimate human interest and then forms the doorway through which people want to enter so that they may know more about a product or service that intrigues them.
The beauty, elegance and intelligence of great design speaks directly to the best in people; it engages their interest, knowledge and curiosity and leads them to the people and companies who have been smart enough to express themselves through that design. The diminishing appeal of jingles, slogans, catchphrases, cliches and their endless repetition have only made effective design that much more important in the marketplace of the modern world.
By: Ted DeCagna
Ted DeCagna Graphic Design… clients have been coming to us for over 28 years for…Graphic Design… Logo Design & Business Stationery… Company Brochures… Photography… Package Design… Website Design & Development… Print Advertising and more. Winner of more than 25 professional design awards. You can connect with Ted on Google+.