The more you see something the more you like it.

If you’re in France and you don’t mind waiting a couple of hours, you can catch a glimpse of one of the Mona Lisa. It’s one of the most famous paintings in the world, by a master of his craft. But this wasn’t always the case. If we flashback to 1911, Leonardo DaVinci wasn’t considered one of the greatest painters of all time and the Mona Lisa…well that was just an obscure work. So what changed? Well, it all starts with a robbery!

Vincenzo Peruggia was a janitor at The Louvre back in 1911. One night he hides in a storage closet after hours, removes the Mona Lisa from its frame, hides it under his smock and walks right out of the front door the next morning. Not only did no security stop him, but it took them more than a day to even realise that the painting was gone!

Suddenly this minor artwork became a major mystery and the media had a field day with the story. People across the world became intrigued with who had stolen the painting and why. Prominent playwright Guillaume Apollinaire and avant-garde painter Pablo Picasso were both falsely accused of the crime. The painting was missing for just over two years and throughout this period it was featured heavily in newspapers, magazines and articles.

In November 1913 and calling himself Leonardo Vincenzo (gee I wonder where he got that name from) Peruggia tried to sell the painting to a Geri’s gallery in Florence. Geri persuades him to leave the painting for expert examination and upon his return the next day was arrested. The Mona Lisa is returned to Paris and people queue to see the now famous painting.

It might be surprising then, that this fame has lasted more than a hundred years…but it is perhaps familiarity and not fame behind the Mona Lisa’s status today. Mere-exposure is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because of their repeated exposure to them. The Mona Lisa’s fame led to more people wanting to study the painting, and its canonisation into art textbooks, major exhibitions, posters  and even school curriculums.  The painting become almost synonymous with classical art. So what can today’s brands learn from this?

Well in today’s world it is becoming increasingly difficult to get exposure. While there are more channels in which to get in front of people, there’s also increased competition. As such it is taking longer and longer for prospective customers to become familiar with your brand, what you do, what you stand for etc

Weaving these core values into everything your brand does and says is difficult without a sound understanding of where perception sits today. Implicit brand association is a great way in helping to discover the core values that your brand is portraying today, and where you might need to tweak elements. This can then give you the confidence that as you market your brand, and as people become increasingly familiar with you, that you are giving off the right impression and embodying the right values.


The more people see something, the more they like it, but without the right research your brand may be making the wrong associations in your audiences mind. Supercharge your certainty and see how we can help today.

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