Upworthy is one of the fastest-growing news websites in the world.

CEO Eli Pariser spoke at South by Southwest, and although his subject was news media, he had a very interesting lesson for us advertising folks.

In short, what he and his clickbait-loving journalists have realised is that the title you give something has a huge effect on whether people engage with it.

He cited a fantastic example. The video below, which features a young man talking about his two gay mothers - arguing passionately that they should not be discriminated against - was originally titled 'Zach Wahls Speaks About Family', and had been watched around 200,000 times. But once its title was changed to 'Two Lesbians Raised A Baby And This Is What They Got', the video took off, and has since been watched more than 18 million times.



In advertising, I believe we don't think carefully enough about the titles we give things.

If you're creating a piece of communication which is intended to be socially shared, you've simply GOT to come up with a title that is powerful and intriguing.

Even for something that isn't intended to be seen by consumers, titles are important. For example, the first thing anyone reads in a TV script is the title. And I've lost count of the number of scripts which have crossed my desk that go by the unbelievably bland name of 'Launch Ad'.

A CD or Client is going to see your script, and you want them to be excited about it. So give it an exciting name.

The same goes for project names. Often in advertising nowadays, we're not just creating a single piece of communication, but an entire suite of activity.

Give it a name. Always. Once something has a name, it becomes real. And if you give it an exciting name - like Durex Fundawear, or The Honesty Experiments - it's more likely to get made.

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