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Total Recall Find out what the latest research can teach you about creating ads your prospects won't forget.

By Kim T. Gordon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Companies spend billions of marketing dollars each year todesign memorable ad campaigns. But what does it really take to makeyour business's name or message stick in a prospect's mind?These methods will make your next campaign memorable:

  • Engage prospects. The moretime someone spends with your ad, the more likely he or she is toremember it. "Vivid processing leads to better storage ofmemory," says Elizabeth F. Loftus, University of California,Irvine, distinguished professor of psychology, author of 21 booksand an expert on memory malleability. The best ads get theadvertiser or brand into the minds of prospects as they considerdifferent possibilities.

How can you get prospects to spend more time with your ads?According to Philip W. Sawyer, director of Starch Communications, aHarrison, New York, testing firm specializing in readershipstudies, the most memorable print ads have messages that grab thereader. Those ads include headlines that contain a benefit and astrong visual focal point, such as a close-up of a model lookingdirectly at you. One large photo works best in magazines, while innewspapers, you can use multiproduct visuals. A StarchCommunications study on behalf of the Newspaper Association ofAmerica showed that when three-quarters of ad space was devoted toillustrations, recognition rates improved by 50 percent.

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