A great ad, tweet, post, campaign, or joke is like a great teacher. It takes you about 80% of the way there, and then lets you connect the dots and fill in the blanks.

Which in the long run, is a lot more rewarding and impactful than having it spelled out in bold, dummy-proof language that is spoon fed to the masses. (“Hey highly affluent people of the world, you should read The Economist because it offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, and science that will leave you intellectually stimulated blah blah blah blah.) Fortunately for us all, The Economist decided to show us what makes them great, rather than tell us.

Advertising legend Luke Sullivan puts it a little more eloquently, “Wit invites participation.” It gives your brand a far greater chance of being remembered, and ultimately, selected.

the_economist_lightbulb_0.preview

In summary: don’t outspend your competition. Outwit them.

(Example A.—Recent ad in the Wall Street Journal for Gold’s Gym)

original_446690_zxzggv6xlancilvxclzmlcmqs

(Example B.—Recent ad in the Wall Street Journal for New York Sports Clubs)

New York Sports Club

Guess which one earned millions of dollars worth of free media from Huffington Post, TIME, USA Today, Mashable, etc.?