Surprising Broca: My Most Powerful Marketing Weapon

January 18th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Today I’m going to share with you one of my biggest inside secrets. I hope that you really pay attention to this one because what I’m sharing with you today is gold. To properly attribute this I must reference Roy H. Williams who first articulated this concept to me some five or six years ago. Roy is the fourth smartest person that I have met in my life and is known as the Wizard of Ads and is a true genius in all aspects.

Broca is the frontal cortex of your brain. It’s the processing part that all the receptors are connected to. In order for anything to get through or to actually process in your brain it has to clear Broca. Broca’s only job is to ask “Is it relevant or is it not relevant?” For instance when you drive down the freeway you’re surrounded by billboards, by other cars, and lots of noise. So many stimulants hit you all at once. Broca is what screens everything and keeps your brain from becoming overwhelmed by saying, “Not relevant, not relevant, not relevant.”

However, if a purple elephant were to fall out of the sky and splat down in the middle of the freeway Broca would say, “Wow! That’s unique, that’s different! That’s something you don’t see everyday!” and lets it through and allows your brain to process the stimuli.

In life we get hit with so much stimulus, particularly now. Every second of every day we’re getting text messages, Tweets, noise, visuals, and commercials and most of that never clears Broca. In order to get and give full attention to the things in your life you need to get something unique, surprising, and delightful that surprises Broca.

I use this in all aspects of my life. I use it to get my kids excited and engaged about upcoming activites, even a work activity. I taught this concept to one of my sons when he was 15 years old and preparing to date. He uses it with great delight now and quotes Broca all the time. I use it on my young men and yes I use it with my employees to get them motivated and inspired. But most importantly we use it in our business with our customers to break through all the other noise and the craziness. All sorts of opportunities are available to you. I had a collegue one time that couldn’t get the attention of a Senior Vice President so he sent him an entire box stuffed full of quarters with a note that said, “You’re losing quarters all over the place!” Not surprisingly the the guy instantly called him back. That’s nothing more than surprising Broca.

The key is to do something that is not obnoxious but rather something that fits and is relevant, and is different, bright, and exciting. This week I have been to three trade shows, two of them in Las Vegas. I took my wife down with me to Las Vegas and took her to see the show Le Reve: The Dream.

Le Reve was an absolutely amazing experience and the entire show and the reason that it so delighted me and my wife and everyone else I’ve ever talked to is it was an hour and a half of non-stop surprises for Broca. You had colors and sounds and mists and people falling off high-dives and girls’ dresses being changed from red to white to black and back again with the snap of a finger. There were so many continual things surprising Broca that is almost put your brain into overload of “Purple elephant! Purple elephant! Purple elephant!” The result was a very delighted, content brain processing the stimulus very quickly as well as being open and completely receptive to everything that was happening on stage.

Particularly with the media the way it is now, if you’re not introducing new messages and new thoughts continually you are not going to get through to people. I don’t care how important or relevant your message is, the fact of the matter remains that if you do not surprise Broca and get through that initial barrier and do it frequently you’ll never get through to your audience. ??Roy most recently quoted that you have to, in a commercial or video, introduce a new surprise for Broca every three to four seconds in order to retain the attention of individuals. If you get up and start talking and blathering about something for ten or fifteen minutes on a video, you are gone and done. You’ll never get through. The same thing is true when giving a talk or presentation. You have to surprise a person’s Brocas in order to get their attention. Use this concept. It is so powerful. If you desire to learn more I suggest you look up Wizard of Ads and it will dramatically change the way that you look at things and the success factor that you’re having with your market messages.

Good luck and enjoy Broca.

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