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Crowd of people at a concert

11. Repetition

Part of a short series on memory design

Denise Hampson
Tuesday 5th July 2022

This is the time of year I normally tell people that one of the reasons the UK does so badly in the annual Eurovision Song Contest is that we are one of the big 5 nations who pays the most for the contest and so we get a pass directly to the final.

When it comes to the final, we’re getting to know the songs or all the nations who took part in the semi-finals. We’ve already locked down the melody, we know some of the words and we already know we like the act.

Conversely for the big five, Europe hear our songs for the first time only in the grand final and they aren’t as familiar with them.

This year’s contest seemed to throw my theory in the bin, with both the UK act, Sam Ryder, and the Spanish act, also one of the big five nations, making up second and third spot in the final results. But then I heard something interesting… it turns out the producers of the British and Spanish entries realised this was a problem for them and took their acts and their songs on a tour of Europe, so that the people of Europe would be more familiar with their songs in advance.

It makes sense of course… imagine going to a concert to see your favourite band and all night they only play songs you’ve never heard before, NOT EVEN ONCE. You wouldn’t know the tunes or the lyrics. You wouldn’t be able to sing along.

Repetition and repeat exposure is the last of my key memory ingredients and it’s an important one. The more we’re exposed to something, the more familiar we become with it, the easier it is to recall, and the more we like it, and the more likely we are to buy it or recommend it.