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Cannes Lions 2018: No point in communicating if no one remembers what you said, says Mark Gass of TCEG

In his speech titled ‘Creativity, technology and the science of making memories’, Gass addressed healthcare communications professionals. To illustrate the importance of memory, Gass began by questioning why we remember some things and not others

Marketers should focus on creating memories and not ad campaigns, according to Mark Gass, Group Executive Creative Director at The Creative Engagement Group.

In his talk titled ‘Creativity, technology and the science of making memories’, which took place on the Healthcare Insights Stage on Tuesday, Gass addressed an audience of healthcare communications professionals as part of the Health Lions.

To illustrate the importance of memory, Gass began by questioning why we remember some things and not others. He then asked the audience to identify some of the world’s most famous brands but with a catch – they were only shown a short description of the brand, such as ‘an arctic bird’ (the publishing imprint Penguin), which was positioned on a background that used just the colourway and typeface of the brand.

He then asked the audience to imagine harnessing the power of communication memory for their clients. “After all, what’s the point of communicating if no one remembers what you’ve said?” Gass asked.

Although he acknowledged that working within the heavily regulated healthcare space meant more restrictions, Gass argued that there are lessons that can be applied to the sector – especially when it comes to experiential. These he summarised as:

●     Experiences drive memories

●     Memories drive actions

●     Behaviours drive results

Different types of memory require different approaches, Gass went on to say, so advertising creatives must consider which type of memory they want to create and then consider how that kind of memory is formed – before even starting to come up with ideas.

Gass said he was inspired to make his presentation after a former colleague described healthcare communications as ‘compliant creativity’.

“I thought ‘My God, there’s got to be a better way,’” Gass said. “So I started looking for ways we can create truly impactful work, by taking the time to think about how memories are made using creativity, technology and a little bit of science.”

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