Non-Fat Advertising: A place in your brain called Broca

I learned about Broca from a guy that has since built a castle.  The Wizard of Ads castle is where Roy Williams teaches his “modern-day” business courses in Austin, Texas.  A little side-note: one of Roy’s 3-day advertising workshops called Magical Worlds…actually changed the way I looked at the world.

In one of Roy’s best-selling business books, I learned about Broca’s Area in the brain.  I’ll give you the shortened version.  Broca is the area in your brain that anticipates sounds, words, and basically what’s going to happen to you next.  And if Broca sees something coming, it means it’s pretty unmemorable or even boring.

So, how does this relate to advertising or creating better sales messages?

In order to make your message “stick”, you must first surprise Broca.  Most ad messages are anticipated by Broca.  And Broca slams the door on a ho-hum, predictable message, denying access to your memory.  You can surprise Broca and gain further entrance into the brain by telling people something they didn’t expect to hear…

Tell a unique story; use words that are colorful, new, and non-cliche; provide interesting information that’s truly useful; etc.

I have a clear memory of one of my childhood dogs being shot with a .243 caliber rifle.  Every detail is painfully clear.  Why?  Because it was unexpected, emotional, loud, the words I heard prior were unpredicted, and so on.

Want your ads to perform better?  Say something we don’t expect.  Using Roy Williams’ terminology – “Surprise Broca.”

I have to give credit to Roy Williams, his books, and Wizard Academy for a portion of my writing, advertising, and marketing education.

Want the real explanation of how Broca effects advertising (I can’t do it justice)? Start by getting the Wizard of Ads trilogy.

Duane Christensen

Non-Fat Advertising

I’m a marketing guy, ad writer, and business grower. I write this marketing blog because I’m on a mission to help local businesses get more from their advertising bucks. I also wrote a  a no-nonsense book about how to take a bigger slice of market share with better advertising. It’s called “Take a Bigger Slice”.


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