Who knew that someone dressed up in a gorilla outfit, playing the drums to Phil Collins’ song ‘In the Air Tonight’ would be connected to……….
At face value this statement may only make sense in the UK (click the link here to watch the original advertisement). It appeared on TV back in 2007 and yet when I made the above statement during live training, more than 60% of the group immediately and consistently responded with “Cadbury’s Chocolate”.
So what could advertisers teach us about such a powerful style of communication?
Advertisers are the masters of communication
When marketing you only have a few seconds or minutes to grasp and hold someone’s attention and to get your message across. So what is it that gets attention?
Say or do something that delights or surprises someone, and you will access the yellow brick road that leads directly to their attention.
Have you ever noticed that so many of us tend to say the same things time and time again? When we become predictable in our language, others will stop listening. Is there a part of the brain that deals with language processing? Yes, there is, and it’s called Broca’s area, discovered in 1861 by the French surgeon Pierre Paul Broca. This part of the brain not only processes verbs but it is also the gatekeeper to the decision-making part of your brain, the pre-frontal cortex.
So if you’re being monotonous you may hear…..“Hey, you’re boring my Broca’s area”……
When things become repetitive, predictable and boring, Broca’s area will not inform the pre-frontal cortex. Yet, when you’re being unpredictable, the message will just fly through.
What we are not talking about is chaos in our communication.
We as humans like structure. We relax when there is structure. Too much and we switch off.
How can we surprise Broca’s area?
Surprising Broca’s area.
Let’s pick a context such as ‘meetings’.
Have you noticed that when people arrange meetings they typically set times at regular segments of the hour? i.e. on the hour, quarter past or half past. “I will meet you at 3.30 pm.”…boring.
To make this memorable, I suggest you say “I will meet you at 3.38 pm”. Their response is then likely to be one of surprise with a reaction of “What did you say?” and the time slot will register.
It is important when we talk to have structure and, as demonstrated above, it’s also vital to be unpredictable and occasionally a little outrageous.
Are you aware that excellent NLP trainers deliver multi-level training? This means they are capable of tackling in excess of 31 things at any one time? This is quite a skill and learning how to do this type of training can be quite transformative. Click here to find out when our next ‘NLP Train the Trainer’ course is being held.
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Article written by John Cassidy-Rice