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Make your message POP! – Purposeful, Original and Pithy

From the moment we wake up and connect to the internet or walk out onto the street, we’re bombarded with ads.
by Sebastian Klein | Oct 28 2014

But why are some of those ads more successful than others?


Sam Horn, communication expert and founder of Intrigue Agency, presents a simple answer in her book POP!: the ads that grab your attention are the ones that POP! – or, to disassemble that acronym, ads that are Purposeful, Original and Pithy.

Here’s a closer look at what each of those elements really means:

First comes Purpose. Whether you’re trying to spread an idea or sell a product, your message has to instantly communicate your purpose – and show precisely and explicitly how it positively affects your audience.
Then comes Originality. No matter how brilliant your product or message is, someone else is probably trying to do something similar. You need to distinguish yourself by every means possible, and in particular, by being original in what you do. Luckily, people’s yearning for something fresh is so strong that even if what you’re doing isn’t new, it can still take off if you present it in a new way.
Finally, there’s Pith. “Pith” means the essence of something. Being pithy is crucial when you consider that the human brain can actually only hold about seven bits of information in its short-term memory!

Be convincing and brief in a second, or your idea will be forgotten. After all, it’s no coincidence that the top slogans of the twentieth century, as selected by Advertising Age magazine, are all fewer than seven words: De Beers’ “Diamonds are forever,” Nike’s “Just do it,” and Avis’ “We try harder.”

Learn more about making your message pop by checking out Sam Horn’s book, or reading the 16-minute summary on Blinkist.

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