There is no doubt that your message is extremely important in the world of advertising, but what’s more important is how you say it. Even if you have the most eloquently concise message that targets the core of your company, it won’t get much attention if nobody reads it. This is why sticking out, any way you can, is vital to any advertising campaign.

Without a doubt, if the TV is on in the background and I’m busy doing other things, when an ad comes on with no sound, my attention immediately goes to the screen. Similarly, I’m much more likely to look at the billboard with the 10-foot 3-D cow than the billboard before or after it. Standing out isn’t a new idea but new ideas on how to stand out are hard to find. Here are the three most important things I’ve found that help connect to your audience and make you and/or your company stand out.

Honesty – The ability to say what everyone is thinking but what nobody wants to say. It’s normal to be fed the same fluffy garbage everyone has heard a million times and of course it is easier to conform but challenge yourself and talk about the elephant in the room. People will find your honesty refreshing and will want to hear more.

Light-Heartedness – People like to feel connected to other people, not to a corporation. Be friendly, be warm and consider your consumers old friends. Everyone will feel more comfortable. Throw in a few jokes and lighten the mood. Normal days for most people are bombarded with boring meetings and less than enthusiastic conversations. Brighten their days a bit.

A Jolting First Line – Millions of hours are wasted with boring first liners. Spice it up and toss in something unusual. Once you have their attention you have the responsibility to keep their attention by having a solid bridge line which takes you into the core of your message. Step 1, Knock out the shocking first line. Step 2: Form the appropriate bridge from the first line to your message. Step 3: Hit them with the core of your message while they are still listening. If they are ever going to listen to your message, they will be listening now.

It’s time to grow back down. Our whole lives we’ve been encouraged to learn a certain kind of math, read a particular kind of poetry, write a standardized essay. What if all the information that was instilled in us from birth was just a way to guide us to be creative and stand out. It’s time for us to see what makes up the negative space in our lives and our businesses in order capitalize on the depth and attraction that appear when we stray from our illusions.