In short, since most emotional reactions tend to increase memory formation by “inhibiting the inhibitor”, your ad, presentation, training program, etc. should be designed to provoke an emotional response. Sierra includes a list of suggested triggers, including surprise/novelty, beauty, music/sound, shock, and sexiness. One emotion that works against memory formation is worry/anxiety, which unfortunately is all to easy to evoke in training presentations, service advertisements, etc. Sierra encourages trainers, for example, to avoid the buildup of anxiety among trainees by making them feel comfortable about the process.
Savvy marketers have known what works for years – they have included pictures of smiling babies, cute dogs, and sexy women in their ads since the dawn of print advertising – but we are now achieving a greater understanding of WHY these simple techniques boost ad results.