Monday, 7 January 2008

The Digital Art of Memory


Stella Artois 'Memory Palaces' from Commerical Archive

“Storytelling,” the screenwriter Robert McKee once wrote “is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” His is a sentiment shared by most global brands. Strong brands are those that have strong stories to tell. “The more coherent and compelling your brand story,” Mark Thomson tells us in Crafting a Compelling Brand story, “the more it will power the success of your enterprise.”
The key purpose of branding is of course to create a strong set of easily recalled associations in the memory of the consumer. And to this end, stories are incredibly efficient ways of doing this. They are well known mnemonic devices. Before the advent of writing, oral societies used narratives as a way to memorise and preserve information about their cultures and their past. Even today, psychologists list narrative as one of the four strategic techniques used by the human brain to remember clusters of information effectively. No wonder then, that stories have become such integral parts of most brands’ existences.

But as story expert Sam Keen reminds us in Story Lore, we are perhaps a society fast approaching our narrative limit. “We are the first generation bombarded with so many stories from so many authorities,” he tells us that, “in a sense, we are saturated with stories.” The world of narrative is becoming just as cluttered as the world of commercial messaging. The fact that the average person can receive anywhere up to 3,000 commercial messages a day is a statistic that has been bandied about the advertising industry for quite a while now. But what about the sheer number of narratives we encounter on an average day? We are bombarded with stories from the news, our friends, work, television shows, radio shows; in fact when you stop and think about it the list is enormous. And brands themselves have numerous stories to tell; not only is there the overall brand story but a wealth of individual product stories as well, not to mention the increasing number of consumer-generated stories on top of these. Keen could well be right. We are a society on the verge of saturation point when it comes to stories.


But narrative was of course not the only mnemonic device used by our ancestors to link together and memorise pieces of information. They used spatial devices as well. The Romans for instance, famously constructed so-called “memory palaces” in order to remember complex stories, fables and speeches; a process also known as The Method of Loci. The imagined loci were physical locations, usually large familiar public buildings. To utilise the method, you would walk through the building several times in your mind's eye, viewing distinct places within it. After a few repetitions of this, you would be able to remember and visualise each of the places. To then memorise a speech or a story, you would break it up into small pieces. Each piece would be represented by an imagined object or symbol and then placed into particular places within the imagined loci. Each piece could then be recalled, simply by imagining that you were walking through the building again, visiting each of the loci and viewing each of the images that were placed in the loci.

Indeed, this technique did not simply disappear with the collapse of the Roman Empire. It is still very much in use today. Brands quite often use spatial mnemonic linking devices; a few years ago for example Stella Artois created a series of posters designed to strengthen the brand’s association with film. The posters functioned like 2D memory palaces; objects that symbolised famous films were placed in various loci around an everyday, public scene such as a street or a beach. In effect the brand was creating miniature Stella Artois memory palaces for us to wander around and recall well-known stories. This technique has, not surprisingly found its way into the digital arena; M&M's with their Dark M&Ms viral puzzle, Virgin Digital with their 20 greatest bands puzzle and Absolut Vodka with their 82 bottle search. By creating virtual memory places, all three brands were able to associate and link themselves with a wealth of stories and tales.

In today's cluttered world, branded memory palaces (or places; they can, according to psychologist’s be any place, even a town) can offer consumers a way to organise, store, memorise and navigate the myriad of stories and associations that are thrown at them by brands. Indeed one of the strongest brands around today is one already conceptualised by most of us as a town; Nike is now almost synonymous with the concept of a ‘Niketown.’ Conceptualising a brand as a place rather than as a personality has a distinct advantage when it comes to recall. "Our spatial memory" remarks Steven Johnson in Emergence "is more powerful than our textual memory." It is easier to conceptualise and memorise a brand as a place than to memorise what it says. Indeed, Marlboro, one of the strongest brands of the 20th century wasn’t just a brand. It was a country.

“To a large degree,” Mark Thomson writes, “crafting a good brand story is about applying the lessons we’ve always known. Remember the tales we used to love as children?" This is an interesting bit of advice. I don't think it is any co-incidence that the stories we remember most vividly from our childhoods are more often than not, spatial stories; Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and of course, Harry Potter to name but a few of the most famous. These are all examples of stories that take the reader on a journey through landscapes filled with weird and wonderful objects; giant bong smoking caterpillars sat on toadstools, crocodiles with clocks in them, talking beavers and yellow brick roads. Perhaps this is something brands are beginning to cotton on to, using on-line environments to create weird and wonderful spatial journeys. The more unusual the objects associated with your brand stories or products, the more likely people are to remember them as they pass through - just as in The Method of Loci.

43 comments:

奇異果 said...

一起加油吧..................................................

如此的 said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................

努力 said...

I do like ur article~!!! ........................................

新車 said...

first catch your hare, then cook him. ..................................................

佩璇佩璇 said...

成功等於目前,其他都是這句話的註解。........................................

楊怡均 said...

留言支持好作品~加油!期待進步和更新 ....................................................

PhilCrispin0626清民 said...

心中有愛,才會人見人愛。......................................................

昱宏 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

韋成韋成 said...

Very good stories~~ Thanks for ur sharing~~!! ........................................

80808waldod_brogden said...

A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody. ....................................................

冠慧 said...

文章是心情的反應~~祝妳天天寫的都是讓人開心的好文章哦!! ........................................

韋于倫成 said...

很棒的分享~如有打擾之處,敬請原諒!........................................

730A_ngelinaRabideau0 said...

北台灣視訊aio34c正妹 69成人網 080視訊聊天室iww 線上免費看成人片 百分百成人圖片 辣妹妹影音視訊聊天室 視訊交友551281 kk 視訊聊天室 免費a片 sex-情色視訊 夜未眠成人影城 視訊聊天網 aaa片免費看短片 正妹交友go uouo 視訊聊天交友 hi5 tv免費影片 av女優王國 546視訊聊天室 免費影音視訊聊天室 ut 視訊聊天室 sex story,辣妹影片直播 hilive成人情色網 線上a長片 美眉脫內衣影片 sex888入口aio甜心寶貝直播貼片 彩虹免費av影片 亞洲東洋視訊辣妹影片 視訊交友網fm358 love104 影音城 qk999成人論壇 免費視訊gogo 拓網學生族視訊777美女 免費成人影片sex,av女優 a 免費影片觀賞 免費視訊topchurch 免費線上 aa 片試看85CC 高雄援交本土自拍天堂 成人視訊elove 臺灣情色網hilive tv 546 視訊聊天室 線上免費av影片 視訊ggoo xvediox松島楓免費影片 免費聊天室 aa影音視訊聊天室 一對多視訊免費視訊辣妹 j 我愛 78 論壇 免費 a 片 兼職援交 免費a自拍偷拍g世代論壇

文佩齊華 said...

男女互悅,未必廝守終生,相愛就是美的。..................................................

Eunic毓燕eMatte0215 said...

the food is delicious!............................................................

estherme said...

行動養成習慣,習慣培養人格,人格影響命運..............................

MinB2139 said...

北台灣視訊aio34c正妹 69成人網 080視訊聊天室iww 線上免費看成人片 百分百成人圖片 辣妹妹影音視訊聊天室 視訊交友551281 kk 視訊聊天室 免費a片 sex-情色視訊 夜未眠成人影城 視訊聊天網 aaa片免費看短片 正妹交友go uouo 視訊聊天交友 hi5 tv免費影片 av女優王國 546視訊聊天室 免費影音視訊聊天室 ut 視訊聊天室 sex story,辣妹影片直播 hilive成人情色網 線上a長片 美眉脫內衣影片 sex888入口aio甜心寶貝直播貼片 彩虹免費av影片 亞洲東洋視訊辣妹影片 視訊交友網fm358 love104 影音城 qk999成人論壇 免費視訊gogo 拓網學生族視訊777美女 免費成人影片sex,av女優 a 免費影片觀賞 免費視訊topchurch 免費線上 aa 片試看85CC 高雄援交本土自拍天堂 成人視訊elove 臺灣情色網hilive tv 546 視訊聊天室 線上免費av影片 視訊ggoo xvediox松島楓免費影片 免費聊天室 aa影音視訊聊天室 一對多視訊免費視訊辣妹 j 我愛 78 論壇 免費 a 片 兼職援交 免費a自拍偷拍g世代論壇

千TatianaCallan惠 said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容................................................................

許紀廷 said...

人因夢想而偉大,要堅持自己的理想哦......................................................................

恩如 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。.................................................................

青卉青卉 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

星美星美 said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。.................................................................

婷珊 said...

nice to know you, and glad to find such a good artical!..................................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

要用心經營哦~~祝福你~~
..................................................

奕廷 said...

路過留言支持~~~..................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

Practice makes perfect.............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人............................................................

梁淑娟梁淑娟 said...

Nothing comes from nothing.............................................................

林柏毅林柏毅 said...

Fancy may kill or cure...................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

far from eye, far from heart...................................................

琬安琬安 said...

永遠不要躊躇伸出你的手。也永遠不要躊躇接受別人伸出的手。.................................................................

童祖如童祖如 said...

吃飽了嗎?~~~還沒下班,好餓哦............................................................

林聿希林聿希林聿希 said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。............................................................

李v吳俊其彥柏 said...

每日都有新日光,每日都有新希望。..................................................

建邱勳 said...

做些小善事,說些愛的字句,世界更快樂。..................................................

偉曹琬 said...

弱者困於環境,智者利用環境~~加油!............................................................

bruce2832 said...

唯有用熱情、用智慧去觀察事物,這事物才會把他的秘密,洩漏給我們......................................................................

思韓韓韓穎 said...

好看耶~一定每天有空給你支持..................................................

孫邦柔 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼......................................... ........................

至馬馬馬馬玄馬馬馬馬 said...

有夢最美啦~~加油!元氣滿點!...............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

No pains, no gains..................................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

人必須心懷希望,才會活的快樂,日子才過得充實,有意義,有朝氣,有信心。......................................... ........................