- February 25, 2009
- Posted by: Madrigal Admin
- Category: Word of the Week Blog
In marketing the ideal ingredient to make a campaign stand out and get cut-through is the wow factor. It is difficult to define the extra factor because it is the extra something that makes a difference. But if it lacks authenticity it doesn’t deliver the wow.
Wow, would you believe, is a Scottish word from 1513, according to the Online Etymological Dictionary, representing a natural exclamation of amazement. Exactly what context it was first recorded is not explained. However, 1513 was the year that the Scottish King James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden by the English. Not much excitement there for the Scots!
The verb “to wow” meaning to overwhelm with delight or amazement is an American usage first used in the twenties (some time before the stock market crash).
The Urban Dictionary defines it as
The distinctive appeal that an object, behavior or person has on others. An impressive display brought on by a certain object, behavior or person.
But it doesn’t quite get there, nor can our ever unreliable source, Wikipedia, which did not have an entry (2009).
So how would I define the wow factor?
It is a heightened aesthetic response to an external stimulus. It is how your message cuts through, firing up the pleasure centres of the brain, abandoning the turmoil in the soul, and ultimately creating the desire to purchase your product!
What do you think of that definition?
Contact Madrigal Communications to get your wow factor.