Sponsored messages

How advertising messages affect the brain

Every day, hundreds of thousands of companies around the world are looking for convincing arguments that could entice potential consumers to buy their products. Every day, marketers at these companies come up with millions of advertising messages in the hopes of being heard. But very few of them have a real chance to attract people's attention, change their perception and force them to act.

Businesses are guided by numerous theories that have been developed without considering brain research. Most of them revolve around finding persuasiveness tools using various tricks and tricks. This game of persuasion is often a waste of time and money, as traditional research never provides definitive answers, whether advertisements are liked or disliked, whether they evoke the necessary emotions and whether they will prompt action. Companies are forced to rely on empirical data or qualitative research. At the same time, the use of focus groups as a research method, which until recently was in great demand, is gradually losing its relevance due to obvious shortcomings.

Therefore, only direct measurements of reactions to advertising, for example, based on fixation of brain waves, fixation of eye movements, changes in facial expression, skin moisture, etc., reveal unconscious mechanisms that can really explain and, more importantly, predict the impact of advertising messages.

It is important to know that a person conditionally has three main structural parts, enlarged into two connected brain systems. It is the rational brain (neocortex or cortex) and the primitive brain, which includes the stem (reptilian) brain and the midbrain (limbic system). Functionally, their responsibilities are divided as follows:

  • Primitive Brain - Controlling the emotional part of the brain. The oldest system, made up of many brain structures that ensure our safety and functioning.
  • The rational brain is the control of the intellectual part of the brain. The most recent, more developed part of the brain. This is a set of knowledge gained in the course of life and learning from all sources of information, cultorological attitudes, principles that are laid down for each person from birth by the social environment. This part of the brain has been structuring incoming data throughout its life, updating and comparing it with previous knowledge.

Despite the fact that the human nervous system has two interconnected structures, one of them dominates in information processing and decision making. And this is not the kind of rational consciousness that, in our understanding, forms a person's own “I”. This is what may seem surprising, a primitive brain.

The primitive brain governs unconscious critical internal states that control attention and emotional resources. It is a set of basic instructions that dominate the processing of all incoming internal and external messages in order to ensure survival.

When a primitive brain works, a person's actions are automatic: thoughtless consumption of food for the purpose of calming down, an unconscious outburst of anger when something desired is not received, uncontrollable tension before a public speech, claustrophobia and fear of spiders, insomnia, maternal love, etc.

Practical research in the field of neuromarketing has clearly demonstrated the defining role of the primitive brain in all aspects of life, from the most important safety issues to what yogurt to choose on the supermarket shelf.

8 incentives shaping a buying decision

To optimize the chances of getting positive results from advertising messages, you must first of all make these messages friendly, understandable and easily digestible for the primitive brain, using 8 brain stimuli that trigger instant primary brain responses:

  1. The impact must be emotional. Emotions are processed 5 times faster than conscious rational processes and leave a deeper imprint. Emotions create chemical events in the brain that directly affect how a person processes and memorizes information. In fact, a person simply cannot remember events that did not evoke any emotions in him.
  2. The message must be personal. The primitive brain is egocentric. He has neither patience nor compassion for anything that does not directly affect his well-being.
  3. The context should be exciting. First of all, the brain looks for a threat, risks, danger in everything, and only after that it is ready to perceive the factor of possible pleasure in any external information or event. He is alert. And his vigilance determines the lightning speed and emotional nature of the reaction.
  4. The reasoning should be realistic, tangible, understandable. The primary brain needs materially tangible and close to its experience initial data. He is constantly looking for something that is familiar and friendly, something that can be quickly recognized. The primitive brain cannot process complex new shapes without great effort and skepticism. He appreciates simple, easy-to-understand, concrete ideas. Everything else he questions, rejects, or most often simply ignores, which is called "deaf ear".
  5. The story should be memorable. The primitive brain does not remember much, so it loves stories - they are easy to remember.
  6. Arguments should be contrasting... The primitive brain is sensitive to strong contrast, such as before-after, risky-safe, with-without, and slow-fast. The contrast allows for quick, risk-free decisions. Conversely, in the absence of contrast, the brain enters a state of confusion that delays the decision or, even worse, stops the decision-making process altogether.
  7. The meanings and the main essence of the message should be visualized... The sensory channel of the primitive brain is visual by default. The optic nerve is physically connected to the primitive brain and is at least 25 times faster than the auditory nerve. Therefore, the visual channel provides a fast and efficient connection to accelerate decision making. No other message is more dominant than the visualized one. Images are perceived 60 times faster than text information. 000% of all information that the brain processes is visual. The impression of a product is 90-62% formed by the color gamut. For example, yellow activates the anxiety center in the brain, while blue invokes trust.
  8. Keep your message short. You can't overload your brain with information. The message should be concise and persuasive, with the obligatory placement of the most important content twice - at the beginning and repeating it at the end.

4 steps to building a compelling message

Learning to speak the language of the 8 brain stimuli is a good start, but it is also very important to adhere to the principle of 4 stages of building a convincing message:

  1. Diagnose pain. Decide what basic fears you need to target. The primary human nature is to focus attention on messages that awaken fears, so a product or solution that can clearly articulate what pains, problems, threats they can eliminate in the first place will receive more attention and speed of perception.
  2. Identify and overcome barriers. Formalizing the main disincentives helps to uncover the most important factors influencing the behavior of potential customers. For each barrier, the message must have a solution and an argument that removes all potential doubts.
  3. Outline the very essence, values. Price and values ​​are directly proportional. The more value something is, the higher its price. Protecting value means getting into the values ​​of the prospect's primitive brain and using them in your argumentation. For some, value is freedom, for others, predictable stability.
  4. Formulate the benefits - 3 unique arguments in favor of your proposal, answering the question why this particular company and this product are better. It is very important to choose the very essence of the whole variety of advantages and convey it to the end consumer in the most simple words that are easy to pronounce. The demonstration of values ​​must be emotional and understandable to the brain. The information should be reproduced as easily as possible. Anything complicated will be ignored.

The result of your well-formed message will be an emotional reaction of the person to whom it is addressed: an irresistible need, a desire to receive by any means and fear of inaction. The principle of primitive brain dominance will help to avoid many pitfalls in the construction of advertising messages and achieve phenomenal results.

Scroll up