Have you ever tried to sell your home? Remember just how much decluttering you had to do?
You had to do that because people need to put themselves inside your home. To do that, they need space, not stuff. Only then can they actually put themselves in your home and imagine the possibilities.
The same principle applies in film. I was a reader at an entertainment company. I’d be assigned a script and my job was to read it and assess whether or not it was worthy of putting the money into developing it into a television series or movie.
When you’re a reader, the first thing you do is open up the script and physically assess it for white space.
All of that extra black ink will mostly hurt the story. Less is more. Show it, don’t say it. Give them 2 plus 2 — never 4.
Music is the same. Inexperienced musicians think music is about the notes. Accomplished musicians know that it’s the rests between the notes that make music. Without the rests, the notes are just noise.
As marketers, we have to think like script writers, musicians and even real estate agents. It’s not about what we want to say; it’s about creating an experience out of which someone will take away what we want them to do, feel or know. To do that, we have to leave them space.
Many marketers message-stuff. They cram ads, commercials, media releases and websites full of all of the information they want their audiences to take away. And in so doing, their audience leaves overwhelmed, remembering nothing.
People trust what they don’t have to think about. If they can’t remember it, they can’t possibly buy into it.
It would be so much easier if we could just shout messages at people and they’d believe them. But just like music or writing, PR and marketing magic doesn’t happen in the noise.
It happens in the white space around it.