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The Science of Delivering a Message

The science behind repetition of message is known as the mere exposure theory.

Successfully delivering a message is part art and part science.

There’s the message itself, a combination of polling, focus groups, and understanding what clicks and resonates with your targeted audience. Add the creative angle – the words and images that envelope that message in a deliverable package – and that’s the art.

Now for the science.

The science behind repetition of message is known as the mere exposure theory.

This scientific theory makes the case for repeatedly and consistently delivering the essence of a message to a targeted audience.

Repetition creates familiarity, and familiarity makes it easier for our brains to process information.

We become “fluent” in the familiar.

It’s that fluency of sorts that helps us like the message – the person, the product, the issue.

The more your targeted audience is exposed to your message, the more familiar they will be with it and the more they tend to like it.

This is the same theory behind why we like to listen to our favorite songs, read our favorite books, or watch our favorite movies. We like what is familiar to us because we are “fluent” in it. The familiarity and “fluency” gained from the mere exposure theory can help bring about better results and ROI.

As an advertiser, you want to believe that every single member of your targeted audience sees every ad every time it is delivered. That’s not the case, however. Voters, constituents, and consumers are inundated with ads and mail constantly throughout the day. Remember, you aren’t the only one trying to communicate, so the more often you communicate, the more likely your audience will see your message.

How do you create that needed repetition of message without delivering the exact same ad or mail piece time and time again?

Within any individual medium or across multiple mediums, repetition can come in the form of a repeated tagline, a repeated photo, or a repeated call to action.

Variety can come from layout in print or static over movement in digital. The goal is to make the message stand out in a recognizable way across all mediums.

Remember, it’s the familiarity of the ad that breeds fluency and increases our liking of the ad – and more importantly, who or what is behind it.

This isn’t cookie-cutter advertising.

It’s part art and part science.