The average consumer is bombarded with to 10,000 ads a day.

It's humanly impossible to remember 10,000 messages. But people might remember, maybe just maybeeeeee, 10 messages.  

So the real question here is: how can your brand be one of those 10?

The answer is counterintuitive: Observe what everyone else is doing and do the opposite.

Being different makes your brand more memorable. And because you're weird, unusual, or different, you stand out from the crowd.

You're the rare pink sheep in a World of white sheeps. Psychologists call this the Von Restorff effect.

Ad legend Bill Bernbach believed in a simple rule:
“In advertising, not to be different is virtual suicide.”

A good example of the Von Restorff effect in Heavy Metal branding. The band Party Cannon definitely stands out from the crowd.

One day in the early 60s, Whitney Ruben, the head of Levy’s Bakery in Brooklyn told Bernbach he had a problem. Rye bread sales were low because it was sold packaged.

Bernbach asks, "Where are you running your ads?"

Ruben replies, "New York Post because it has an 80% Jewish readership."

Then Bernbach says: "There's your problem. Jews already know about rye bread. We need to get to the people who haven’t tried it yet."

Most Jews living in New York were immigrants. And they didn't eat packaged rye bread, they bought it fresh from the bakery.

So Bernbach's ad agency (Doyle Dane Bernbach) came up with an ad campaign called "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's".

Instead of targeting Jewish people, they targeted Chinese, Black, Native American, Irish, Polish, Japanese, Italian, Puerto Rican.

The campaign celebrated what made New York different.

Then magic happened.

Levy's became the biggest-selling rye bread in New York City.

Then in the entire State.

And then in the entire Country.

Takeaways for your business:

1. Use the Von Restorff effect to your advantage. Remember that when you write copy, voice is your personality on paper.

So inject personality into your copy. It’s the right way to differentiate your brand from your competitors.


2. When designing ads, apps or websites create striking contrast between you product or messages. 

Use color, position, texture or shapes to dramatize and highlight the contrast.

Some good examples of ads that take advantage of the Von Restorff effect: