Advertising is all about attention.
How can you capture someone's attention long enough for him or her to pay attention to the product you're pushing?
Kia wants to sell its SUVs to 35-to-49 year old males, and they recently delivered what I think is, hands down, the best TV commercial of 2016 to date.
It involves two key elements - nostalgia and emotion - that help create an instant bond with your ideal audience.
Here's the ad, which was created by the Los Angeles-based David & Goliath agency:
Bo Knows ... Cars?
For Kia, the spot is a brilliant double dip back into the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Bo Jackson and Tecmo Bowl were all the rage among sports-crazed, video game playing boys all across the United States.
Tecmo Bowl was a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that set a new standard in how professional sports and video games intersected.
It was the first game I can remember that used the real NFL players and teams, and it also allowed you to call your own plays, along with a host of other new features that had never before been seen with a sports-themed video game.
The star of Tecmo Bowl was Jackson, who, despite having only one play featuring him, could do incredible, almost unbelievable, things in the hands of a skilled player.
That's why, three decades later, you can instantly build a bond with most 35-to-49 year old males by simply saying "Tecmo Bowl" and "Bo Jackson" together in the same sentence.
Nostalgia and Emotion = Engaged Audience
The Kia spot goes beyond mere mention of those late 1980s icons and uses technology (and Bo!) to re-create his incredible run through the defense. Best of all, the Kia spot uses the original sound effects and music from the game, from the quarterback yelling "Hut! Hut! Hut" over and over to the announcer yelling "Touchdown!" when Jackson (driving a Kia SUV) makes it across the goal line.
When you're able to tap into that type of nostalgia, memory and emotion with your marketing messages, you create a bond with your audience that makes you memorable.
Vanilla Ice and Pac-Man on a LinkedIn Training?
That's why I use video clips of Vanilla Ice and references to 1980s video games during my LinkedIn trainings and live webinars.
I know the majority of my audience is over age 40, and as a result they can relate to my 1980s tube sock pictures, Pac-Man references and the lyrical wisdom that was Vanilla Ice.
In creating nostalgia, generating emotion and delivering quality content, you build a bond with your audience that goes beyond the mere practicality of your product.
More importantly, you earn (and keep) their attention while making yourself (and your product or presentation) memorable.
No matter what they tell you, people love to have fun, laugh and enjoy themselves during a presentation or sales pitch. The key is understanding how to integrate humor, emotion and nostalgia in a way that doesn't detract from the quality of content you're delivering.
Kia did it brilliantly in its recent Bo Jackson commercial, and you should aim to do the same in your marketing messages and sales presentations as well.