Like CJ, Oliver Hill had a mine of useless phrases that he trotted out regularly, all of which seemed faintly ridiculous at the time. ‘Erm, don’t mind me Richard, I’m just a bastard…‘ he’d boom as he looked over my shoulder ‘but, has it got Attention Getting Value?‘ or ‘MRV boy. Don’t forget Memory Retention Value‘. Silly stuff really, but 37 years on, I can still hear his voice and, what’s more, I realise that what he said has never been more important.
Coming home this evening, I ran through the events of the day. What had happened to it? What did I remember? More pertinently for this blog, which brands had registered with me? What piece of brand communications had broken through into my befuddled brain? So I went back over what had happened…
Glum news on the radio, as I head for the bathroom, morphs into the crowded commute to Waterloo, the predictable absence of Boris Bikes and the complexities of running a busy consultancy. My brain has been closed to all outside messages except those that are completely relevant to what I’m doing.
We don’t have the time or mental capacity, nowadays, to allow extraneous stuff brain-time. So what did I notice today? Only one thing. A series of huge posters hanging from the ceiling at Waterloo with no message at all. I think I’ve seen them somewhere before and they are something to do with Microsoft. That’s it. That’s all that’s got through. They’re relevant because I’m interested in cloud computing (they’re actually for Microsoft’s Cloud Power) but they’d get dear old Oliver Hill’s vote. They’ve got Attention Getting Value – I saw them, and they’ve got MRV – I remembered them enough to write about them four hours later.
Dear Oliver has been laid to rest long ago but he lives on because I realise he had lived by his own mantra. He had both Attention Getting and Memory Retention Values – you couldn’t miss him and once you’d met him, you couldn’t forget him.