Six Ways to Snare a Lion at Next Year’s Cannes

I recently listened to Heath & Heath’s brilliant “Switch” on a long road trip. And that inspired me to (finally) read “Made to Stick,” the book that guru-ized the behavioral researchers. 

In “Stick,” the Heath brothers refer to a research study that suggests that award-winning ads can be categorized into six “templates.” (And, further, that you can teach everyday people to create great ads in as little as two hours by applying those templates.)

So just imagine what you can do—and in so little time! Since “Stick” only refers to one of the templates, I looked up all six, so you can be basking in the French Riviera next June, rather than reading this blog: 


1. Create a pictorial analogy to demonstrate a product benefit.

2. Depict an extreme (absurd/unrealistic) situation.

3. Exaggerate the consequences of not buying a product or service.

4. Construct an unrealistic competition—like between a car and a bullet.

5. Persuade the audience to participate in an interactive experiment.

6. Alter the “dimensionality” of an environment (e.g., make the ocean smaller to illustrate the speed of a trans-Atlantic flight).

Now that you know the “rules,” get to work. And you better lose 10-15 pounds, too, if you want to look good in that Speedo.