Surprise lies at the intersection of memory and information, at the boundary between our inner world of expectations and the outer reality to which we must constantly adapt. Surprise is the emotional engine that drives storytelling forward. Continue reading
In playing the game of marketing, it’s important to understand the hierarchy of information operating in an economic system, and what information is relevant to the decisions that have to be made at each level of the game. When playing the game, you must shift down a level for diagnostic insights, and you must shift up a level for context. Continue reading
Those of us who work in advertising can define our business in many ways– from the simple idea of creating sales messaging to the more complex idea of building brand relationships, to the modern techno-mantra of feeding the sales funnel. My own definition is more consumer-centric: advertising is the business of manufacturing memories.
In the game-world of the HBO series Westworld, AI-driven robots can pass the famous Turing test by simulating human emotions and human behavior so well that the human players in the game pretend that the robots are human. The real thing that makes the robots less than human is that they don’t have long-term memories.
“Expectation” and “anticipation” are concepts that describe forward-looking memories; both are linked to future actions. The difference, however, is that anticipation is an expectation with an uncertainty attached.
The secret to building a successful brand experience is understanding customer expectations. If you meet expectations, you will have a satisfied customer. But if you exceed expectations, you can turn a customer into a brand advocate. It’s easy for advertising to promise the first, but hard to communicate the second. The reason is that “expectation” is just another word for “memory.”
Our high-tech Wizards have already invented much of the magic imagined by J.K. Rowling—the magic map used by Harry now looks strikingly similar to the map on our Uber app. Many in advertising think Zuckerberg invented a magical form of Television. He didn’t. He reinvented Print and Out-of-Home advertising.