20th May 2019
It’s easy to confuse our ‘rational’ brains
I spent a few hours today testing a virtual reality (VR) experience that has been built for one of our clients for a major trade show this summer by a specialist company in Birmingham. The project is highly confidential at the moment, but if you would like to know more, please contact me.
Prior to this project, I was aware of VR, but had never had the opportunity to try it. The experience has been a complete revelation to me. I think I’m quite a rational person, but when the VR goggles and headphones go on, it’s amazing how fast my brain ‘forgot’ the reality that I was stood in an open plan office and completely accepted the VR environment that had been created by the technical wizards. Even the ‘computer game’ graphics didn’t confuse my brain. Within seconds, it felt really real. If you haven’t ever tried VR, do give it a go.
Perhaps inevitably, it got me thinking again about how marketing communication works. How many times have you heard someone say (or maybe said yourself) “I’m not influenced by advertising”? Most of us like to think of ourselves as rational beings impervious to flashy advertising campaigns and sales promotions and yet the evidence suggests otherwise.
Don’t believe me? OK, here’s a challenge. Open your food cupboards, your garage, your loft or garden shed and look at all the things you have bought but not eaten or used. Evolution moves slowly and we are still ‘hard-wired’ to consume in times of plenty, ready for the periods of shortage that lie ahead.
Emotional marketing messages trigger that ‘want’ overriding the rational assessment of ‘need’, planting the seed of desire in our brains. Often we then try to rationalise our desire initially to ourselves and then if necessary others. From the person who bought a big powerful 4×4 car because of the “excellent driving position” to the grocery shopper who came home with 3 packets of chocolate biscuits because “they were on ‘3 for 2’ and I won’t eat them any faster” we are all doing it, often subconsciously.
I you’re in business, have a look at your own marketing messages – are they tapping into the emotional appeal of your products and services or are they full of rational features? If it’s the latter, you’re probably missing out. If that looks too difficult to do alone, why not give us a call on 0121 222 5743 for a free and confidential chat?