Do you like to be teased?
The answer may surprise you.

Written by: Tim McCleary, Chief Experience Officer

Being teased for something we said or did as a kid was never a lot of fun. But, having our brains teased as an adult is something we’re actually built to seek-out.

I can vividly remember an iconic teaser campaign, launched in the bus stop shelters around town, while I was attending university in Toronto. It began with a large, red star on a simple white background.

As the weeks passed, the white background began to give way to more detail that eventually formed an image. It revealed the iconic green Heineken beer bottle.

Was this the launch of Heineken in the Canadian market? Was it a campaign to refresh interest in the brand? I don’t know. But, it did the trick. It grabbed my attention right up to the reveal of the very last detail.

Why was this campaign so captivating?

First off, human beings are curious by nature – and there’s good reason for this. Our brains have a reward-processing system which motivates us to seek-out information.

In a 2017 article published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, authors Vivian Hemmelder and Tommy Blanchard, Ph.D., said, “…neuroimaging studies show that when people are curious about the answers to trivia questions or watch a blurry picture become clear, reward-related structures in their brains are activated.”

If we know that our brains “light-up” when confronted with a puzzle to be solved, we can use this to capture the interest of our target audiences when we’re trying to affect change.

Here are some thought-starters:

  1. Dump the PowerPoint trade-in a detailed deck for a well-designed, creative teaser campaign, keeping in mind that asking questions can further spark curiosity.
  2. Pain or gain – decide whether your change addresses a pain point or a business opportunity, and then construct your teaser to poke in that desired direction.
  3. Intentionally entice – plant clues of an upcoming change in unexpected places for employees to discover and piece together, to form a larger picture.

I may not be a big fan of being teased, but, a good teaser to get my neurons firing?
Bring it on!

Thanks for being involved today.

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Urban Emu is an experience agency with a fast growing team of experience designers, facilitators, strategists, researchers, UX/UI designers, and software engineers that create innovative experiences to improve and transform businesses.

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