Messages You Can’t Forget

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Posted At: October 3, 2013 11:40 a.m.
by Courtney Cox

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause?” For me, it’s human-sized hamsters wearing suits and sunglasses, closing the door of their bright green Kia Soul and turning to strut down a red carpet as fans cheer and cameras flash.

How about the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan? When you hear that song, does your brain immediately flash to an image of a poor, helpless little dog in desperate need of food, love and care? If your answer is yes, it means the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has successfully increased your awareness of animal cruelty.

In a public relations campaign, objectives are the desired, measureable outcomes, typically aimed toward changing a target audience’s awareness, attitudes or actions. To increase awareness, it is not enough to simply send out a message to the target audience. PR professionals must be certain that a message is not only being heard but remembered as well.

Take Taco Bell for example. About a year ago, the fast food chain ran a commercial introducing the new Doritos Locos Tacos that featured the song “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit. The song stuck with me for months it seemed, and I would always randomly catch myself humming or singing it. Even now, a year later, my boyfriend and I still refer to that song as “The Doritos Taco Song.” Taco Bell chose a new song with a catchy tune to introduce its new product, making it almost impossible to forget about Doritos Locos Tacos. Mission accomplished.

Some companies even take it a step further by creating original songs in which the lyrics tell the message. How many of us can say that we know all the words to a FreeCreditReport.com commercial? Or maybe you sometimes find yourself singing my personal favorite, “A Prius for Everyone,” while folding laundry?

Although music is not the only memory method that has proven successful, it is one of the most popular and effective ways to ensure audiences are retaining information. We can rest assured that companies will continue to incorporate music in their campaign tactics to increase awareness and create messages that are almost impossible to forget.

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