Weirdness is also singular and original, the stuff we find whenever we think outside of the box. And, when it comes to advertising, that’s the stuff we’re looking for.

So for this purpose, as we explore why weird works so well for advertising, let’s make some adjustments:

Weirdness is…

Unusual Distinctive

Bizarre Entertaining

Unexpected Authentic


Weird stands out—and that’s a scientific fact.

The Von Restorff Effect holds that “when multiple homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus that differs from the rest is more likely to be remembered.”

By leaning into weirdness, brands can have a memorable impression on audiences.

As people, we only have so much space in our brains. It’s no surprise that more than 90% of advertising goes unnoticed. That’s why securing a place for your brand within the fraction of information that people actually remember is considered a foundation of brand building.

To stick in people’s heads, you need to stand out. And to stand out, you need to figure out how to be the weirdo in your category.

For some brands, this involves building your entire identity on weird.

For others, weirdness is more intentional. Like an unexpected ad or collab that ambushes consumers with surprise weirdness.

Being weird doesn’t always mean being overtly bold or excessive, either. In some categories, the weirdo that stands out is the one that’s the most… ordinary.

Whatever the method to your weirdness, the key to achieving distinctiveness with your brand is to figure out how to zig while everyone else zags.


In the era of the attention economy, the brands that win are the brands that get people to look at their stuff.

On Instagram, where 95 million photos and videos are shared every day, what types of content do you pay attention to?

Odds are, it’s the most entertaining content.

No one has to watch your content in the world of social media—they have to choose to watch it. And to get people to choose your content, it has to be entertaining. Fortunately, weirdness is the perfect hack for creating entertainment.

Weirdness is the opposite of boring. Weirdness makes people laugh.

And, most importantly, weirdness can stop people in their tracks…or in the middle of their scroll.

Ultimately, in a world where entertainment is everything, weird is your secret sauce in the recipe for engagement.


Let’s talk about Gen Z. This group of nearly 2 billion young consumers is an entire generation of weirdos.

Thanks to the internet, these digital natives represent the most interconnected generation ever. Having been exposed to infinite subcultures, lifestyles, genders, and sexualities, it’s arguable that Gen Z is the most progressive of any generation when it comes to their views and choices.

As a result, weird is normal for Gen Z. And, in turn, normal is weird.

Authenticity is the gold standard for Gen Z—they crave weirdness that feels real. That’s why the fastest growing brands in the world are the most authentically weird ones.

These are the brands that do weird in a kitschey, homemade way.

The ones that are a little rude in their weirdness.

And the ones who rebel against the stiff shine of brandedness with an entire persona that’s built on weird.

While audiences like when brands keep it real, reality isn’t boring. So why make what your brand does boring? Be authentic to the weird world.

Don’t miss Jeff as host of the Creativity Stage on day one of MAD//Fest and feel free to visit the DEPT® Garden House in Brick Lane Beach to talk all things weird.