Your brain functions to make you a herder or herd.   Ever notice how you can’t remember anything you might have seen on the way home from work.  It is because your brain switched from awareness to zombie.  It took some time off and let your body do the work.

When someone else is running you or you are in a compliant social situation, you think like a herd animal, on that same zombie pilot light.  You are unaware of a lot of what is going on around you and simply focused on what you need to do the minimal task you are undertaking, driving a car, sitting on the subway, walking down a well know street.

Why does your brain do this?  Because if it had to catalogue, compile and be aware of all that, it would be overloaded with too much information.

I recently attended a Jay Leno show and watched people walking in and out as a crowd.  Heads down.  Feet shuffling.  Keeping in line.  They were barely awake after having been highly attentive for an expensive hour and a half of entertainment.  It is amazing how quickly they went from full flame to pilot light.

For advertisers this is important information.  If you are addressing people in a lulled state of mind, you have to break through.  You have to break the hypnotic state they are in.

For some reason, humans like to get things into a routine.  We love patterns and a routine pattern is what makes us feel comfortable.

But for advertising, we have to disrupt that comfort level.  We are herders looking to move the flock a particular direction and the majority of human behaviour is based on being a herd animal.

When we create advertising, we have to communicate to the herd like herders do.  We have to break their routine and get their attention.

Sometimes we can do it with our media choices.  Most of the time we are trying to reach people when they are on pilot light: slumped in their couches watching TV, driving to work while listening to the radio, or cruising the web looking for something else.

Understanding their psychology is the key to being able to get the message through.

Since we are trying to direct the herd to our clients’ products and services, we might learn something from watching a sheep dog.  They don’t bark too often or too loud.  They just gently move the herd toward their destination.

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