I was driving through my neighborhood the other evening and got a reminder of why message repetition is so necessary when one of the kids almost ran out in front of my truck.
Follow the bouncing ball
Let me set the scene for you. It was after 5pm but still fairly bright outside and I needed to swing by the post office to drop off some accumulated mail. I decided to drive through the neighbor on a whim; usually I take a more direct route. As I neared a slight curve in the street I noticed several young children playing with a large ball in the front yard of one house. There was a large pile of dirt outside a house on the opposite side of the street where someone was doing a backyard renovation, and between it and the various vehicles parked on the street I had plenty of reason to drive slower though that area.
Suddenly the kids lost control of the ball and it bounced into the road, followed immediately and instinctively by a boy and a girl. The boy realized his error and stopped while he was still on the sidewalk but the girl continued into the road and noticed my truck once after she had retrieved the ball. Luckily for her I was stationary at that point but she still got a shock. They waved and yelled “thank you” as I drove past once she was safely back on the sidewalk.
Look left and right
As I continued on my journey I pondered how many times those kids had been lectured by their parents about looking left and right to check for oncoming traffic before venturing into the road chasing an errant ball. My parents were very adamant about that message and I’m sure that their parents are as well and yet the lesson was forgotten right when it was needed most. Similar to how marketing messages need to be delivered frequently and consistently if they have any change of sticking with consumers. Not an easy task when there are plenty of bouncing balls to distract.