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C O U R S E 
Contagious: How Things Catch On
Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Unexpectedness in Advertising
Notes taken on February 6, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
unexpected element
novel and surprising
one way to make ideas stick is to make them unexpected
the minivan ad
set up a pattern
we are all thinking it will be a normal minivan ad
they showed things that we expect in a normal minivan ad
a child coming back from soccer practice
temperature controlled cup holders
like a garden path
when we get into a routine, we think we know what is going to happen
then out of nowhere they broke that pattern
that novelty got our attention
1. violate expectations by breaking a pattern
Double Tree hotels
mid-priced hotel
pretty nice rooms but not amazing rooms
they do one thing to break that pattern
when you check in they have freshly backed chocolate chip cookies
its very unusual and so people remember it
it's different from the pattern of what we would expect
2. it's not about doing something crazy
we often think we have to do something completely odd
dress up in a chicken costume
go down to the subway and throw fake 100 dollar bills in the air
that would be surprising, but it wouldn't hold their attention
3. open up a curiosity gap
a mystery where people want to know the answer
encourages them to lean forward to find out more
they want to watch the rest of the ad to figure out what is going to happen next
The Blair Witch Project
1999 horror movie
three student film makers who had disappeared while making a documentary about a local legend called the Blair Witch
viewers were told that these three hikers were never heard from again though the video footage was found a year later
everything about it made it seem like it was real
people wondered it was a real movie
it opened up a curiosity gap
we often think that giving more information is better advertising
but this often pushes people away
but repetition of the curiosity gap can dull surprise
the sequel to the Blair Witch Project, Book of Shadows, got bad reviews