Not too long ago, something terrible happened to me during a client presentation. Our planner began the meeting by setting up the strategic direction, and I then stood to walk them through our creative concepts. After a brief intro, I clicked the right arrow to reveal the first slide of creative on the monitor. And it did. But then the arrow got stuck. So it showed the next page. And the next. And proceeded to run through the entire deck, flashing each slide in rapid succession for about a half second each. I was powerless to stop it. All I could say after my 20-minute presentation had been condensed to about 10 seconds was, “Well, what did you think?”

And then the weirdest thing happened.

They told me.

They said things like, “I liked the yellow one.” “Love how bold the middle one felt.” And “Was that a kangaroo toward the end?”

Of course, we went back and walked through it at a more human pace. (Then they saw there was no kangaroo. Probably just wishful thinking.) But their reaction to the work was pretty much the same after a 25 minute hand-held saunter through the deck as it was after the warp speed version. I couldn’t believe it. It was like being a test subject in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.

What did the meeting teach me? That no matter how much we sweat each detail of any piece of communication, if it doesn’t form some type of immediate connection (you know, swipe right) you don’t have much of a chance for a first date, let alone a second one. It might just be a certain color, a particular font, one specific word choice, or a compelling image that makes an immediate connection with your audience, making them want more.

Could it be a weird tagline for a nut company? Yes good.

Could it be funny tweets that feel like your friend wrote them and not a corporation? Sure.

Could it be J.T. in an ascot?

Of course it could be J.T. in an ascot.

Something’s got to stop people in their tracks (or at least within six seconds) to allow the door to open just a crack. Then you can romance the whole brand story song and dance and form your relationship, Casanova. But they’ve got to be interested first. Trust me. It even works on Tinder sometimes.

Have an attention-getting-in-a-nanosecond weekend, everybody.

– Your right-swiping friends at Brokaw.

Something’s got to stop people in their tracks to allow the door to open just a crack.

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