5 Tips to Make Memorable Messages


Messages that engage and inform wide and diverse audiences are hard to create. Great communicators know a secret that all businesses should keep in mind: the most powerful messages are those that are remembered.

Super Bowl XLIX offered a great example of reach and impact. Not only was Sunday’s game the most watched TV show of the year, but many of the messages broadcast during the program were memorable. Various observers analyzed the impact for marketers, and virtually every advertiser got a good return on their investment. Engagement remained high throughout the program, too, thanks in part to the closeness of the game on the field.

When I watched Super Bowl XLIX last Sunday night, I was eager for a great football game, which I saw. Whether you rooted for Seattle or New England, football fans were treated to a battle of elite players, and the outcome of the game wasn’t decided until the final minute — a nail-biter if ever there was one. But I also wanted to see what kinds of messages really got through and stood out. I saw several.

One advertisement that really resonated with me, and a lot of other people who saw it, was Procter & Gamble’s #LikeAGirl message. Adobe reported that it scored the highest social buzz during the Super Bowl, and got not only 400,000 mentions in social media but also 84% positive sentiment. Those are amazing numbers for a spot that wasn’t even advertising a product.

To me, the power of that message – and the lesson for businesses that want to communicate better – was that it was about trying to get people to think in a new way. Check out the clip below and read on for my tips on how to make messages memorable.


Businesses have different kinds of messages that they need to deliver. Generally, they fall into the categories of:

  1. Product launches, brand communications and customer relations are just a few areas where companies need to raise their game, to capture mind share and market share.

Corporate Communications. Businesses need to reach both internal and external audiences for a variety of reasons, e.g. financial news, leadership changes, new initiatives, benefit programs.

  1. Training and professional development are more important than ever for enterprises with distributed talent. Finding effective ways to educate and engage workers is critically important for achieving business objectives.

Here are five attributes of memorable business messages in all three of those categories:

  1. Clarity. If your audience is going to understand what you’re trying to say, the message needs to be clear. Ambiguity spells trouble and leads to audience disengagement.
  2. Conciseness. As the saying goes, brevity is the soul of wit. It’s also a great way to hold your audience’s attention. There’s a tremendous amount of content competing for our attention around the clock. Say what you have to say in as short a way as you can. Another important element in the economy of words is simplicity; complex and concise offers audiences another reason to tune out.
  3. Relevancy. Messages that resonate are those that your audience can relate to. Is your message relevant to who’s hearing it? If it isn’t, don’t expect the audience to stick around.
  4. Emotion. An attribute in memorable messages that is related to relevancy is the ability to elicit emotion from the audience. To craft a memorable message, think about how you want your message to make your audience feel. The late author and poet Maya Angelou said, “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
  5. Medium. In this age of multimedia, there are lots of ways to deliver a message. The impact and reach of your message depends a lot on the medium you choose to convey it. The Super Bowl ads get a lot of attention because they’re on television. By almost any measure, live video is the most powerful way to broadcast powerful messages. Additional communication channels, such as social media platforms, can enhance the audience’s experience and extend your reach.

Messages worth hearing are worth the effort to make them memorable. To learn more about how to deliver memorable messages to large and distributed audiences, contact me or click here.