of imagination-provoking questions #randomthought

The other day when i was hanging out with a group of friends, we were teasing the only boy of the group and everyone was trying to make him reveal his secret girlfriend. I was kind of fed up of pestering already so I just voiced out from the other end of the table: Hey, tell us man, you never know what we can help you. That was followed by an awkward silence. Then one of the girls looked at me and nodded her head: Wow Jenny, your line is powerful. I remember what she said instantly made me wonder: hmm, why powerful? But I guess I was too busy with my chicken rice to ask for an explanation then.

I did something really risky yesterday. I told my friends that it was like finally I have jumped off that cliff, just that I haven’t landed yet so I don’t know whether I would land on my face or on my butt. While I’m still ‘falling’, I can somehow feel the insecurity, the fear, the anxiety, the nerves … all that I guess i haven’t felt for quite a while. It seems that I have just stepped out of my comfort zone to see what life has more to offer than the daily repeated rituals. I then texted Syn Ee and Wendy commented on our conversation.

For 2 pieces of ‘short stories’ I’ve just mentioned, I guess the common thing – also the thing i have contemplated for a while, is how a simple sentence can activate imagination, which then generates some kind of feelings/emotions.

Statements starting with “Can you imagine …”, “How about …”, “You never know …”, “Don’t you see …” spark as a question which usually instantly makes our minds wander. In finding an answer to the question (technically), we run through a jungle of possibilities and for whatever positive/negative that we can see, it renders happy/worrying feelings or other sorts of emotion as a result.

So now I’m thinking of this application on websites or online banners – random thoughts again.

Say, you are to give a punch line to viewers/visitors to grab their attention for your product/service/brand. You can only have 1 line with assumption that 1. visitors/viewers will catch/read your sentence, 2. visitors/viewers have 3 seconds to process what they have read. So to make that 1 line count, the question is would you ask a question that:

a – Triggers the imagination/curiosity, which would probably lead visitors to check out your thing?
E.g.: What does a perfect phone of the new century look like? – Okay, crap, i’m not a copywriter.

OR

b – Tells people in the face that they should check out your thing, which would probably turn off your visitors and turn them away? (Just a side note, you never know how many sadists out there will be turned on by a bold statement).
E.g.: Check out our goddamn awesome iPhone 10 that has just come fresh out of the oven.

I guess there’s no strict formula for this. But I’d like to find out which is preferable and how people usually react to each message.

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