The element of surprise makes almost all emotional response stronger.
Anticipation is the secret ingredient of surprise, something Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Spielberg used in their most successful films.
Did you see this movie last year? It uses both, and it has three easy, yet important, lessons for you:
First, making people laugh is hard, and if you needed proof of that, I hope you watched The Golden Globes Sunday evening. I have always contended that trying to make me laugh — and failing — is worse than not trying at all.
Second, funny and sad are not mutually exclusive. In fact, as this film proves, they are often most effective when paired. Don’t be afraid of tears Tears are better than trying to make me laugh and failing. At the same time, don’t hit the sad button too often. Make it special.
Third, the reason you didn’t see this movie is very much like the reason it’s difficult for your show/station to attract lots of new listeners, even if your product is noticeably better than your competition’s: You hadn’t heard about it until now.
There’s no question Word-of-Mouth works, but it’s very difficult to get thousands of personal endorsements every day via WOM if all you do is normal “radio” content: liners, basics, unfocused, rambling morning show conversations without enough strong payoffs.
Ordinary never, ever generates WOM.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it, really. I didn’t expect it to be so funny. And I didn’t expect the ending, the power of the ending.
And that’s why it’s worth me sharing, and you watching…