If you want to make your message memorable to your audience you need to find your war-cry.
A great example of a war-cry is featured in Braveheart:
“They may take our lives but they cannot take our freedom!!!”
Naturally while unleashing a war-cry like that in a business meeting would certainly be memorable, it might not be the most effective way to get your listeners to buy into your message or make the sale.
What we need to do is take the essence of a war-cry and remove the shouting.
What does a war-cry do and why do we need one?
It focuses the listeners’ attention on an objective or idea and for us this is what we want them to do, to focus on an idea, our idea.
When we hear a war-cry, we don’t just remember the words themselves but we also conjure up images, sounds and feelings, not just of the moment of the war-cry but also everything that happened before and after . With that one phrase we unlock a treasure chest of memories.
Advertisers are masters of the war-cry, they can sum up a set of emotions and experiences in one phrase. For instance if I say to you “snap, crackle and pop”, a flood of sensations rush into your mind, the whole experience of eating Rice Krispies is there, the opening of the packet, shaking the packet and watching the cereal fall into the bowl with, the glug of the milk as it pours, the snap and crackle as the krispies react to the milk, the slightly soft crispy taste of them on your tongue, perhaps even memories of eating them with your familiy when you were young. This is the power of the war-cry, this is the seed that you want to sow in the minds of your audience…
With one phrase we can help our listeners remember everything that we want them to remember.
A war-cry is a slogan, a tagline, a catch-phrase.
What makes a great war-cry?
- It;s short
- It’s catchy
- It sums up the essence of your message
- It’s tweetable.
When you’re crafting your message, be sure to include a war-cry.