The brain is composed of two hemispheres: the creative right hemisphere and the analytical left hemisphere. Each hemisphere contains different brain functions and ways of thinking that make them distinct from each other. When designing advertisements, it would be an astute marketing strategy to apply neuromarketing principles and bear in mind whether your advertisements will appeal to the different components of the left brain and right brain. Many advertisements make the mistake of just focusing on appealing to one hemisphere at the expense of the other though. The most successful advertisements will shrewdly contain elements that allow their message to resonate with both sides of the brain at once.
People have been defined by popular psychology as either being left-brained or right-brained, meaning that one hemisphere was claimed to be dominant. The dominant side was said to vary from person to person and to influence their personality and thinking style. However, a major study by neuroscientists at the University of Utah has disputed this long-held theory.
They conducted a study over the course of two years where they analysed the brain scans of over 1000 participants using fMRI. Their results revealed that neither side of the brain was dominant in any of the participants' brain scans. In fact, they found that neural connections crossed between the two hemispheres. This knowledge is important when applying neuromarketing to creating advertisements because while it was previously thought that you had to appeal to either left-brained or right-brained people at the exclusion of others, it turns out that we’re not that different from each other after all. This provides a new challenge for marketers as creatives need to appeal to both hemispheres at the same time.
The neuroscientists did confirm that different thought-processes and brain functions do occur in the different sides of the brain though. It is useful to understand what they are and how they interact with each other when aiming to appeal to all of these different facets of the brain.
The left brain is the logical side
The left brain is where language is processed. To capture the left brain’s attention, make sure that you include hard evidence that cannot be disputed as to the practical usefulness of your product. Exemplify how results and testimonies demonstrate that it compares favourably to the competition. As the brain’s mathematical region, incorporating figures into your advertising will cement the fact in the left brain, making it concrete.
The right brain is the creative side
To appeal to the right brain, include elements, such as music, that will resonate with their emotions and tell a story with your advertising that will capture their imagination. Including a touching scene between people, whether it's heart-warming or moving, is an effective way to provoke strong emotional responses.
In the left brain, realism is predominant, while imagination runs free in the right brain. It is easy to combine both in advertising by including a real-life testimony to back up your visionary storytelling perspective.
The most effective advertisements will incorporate elements that appeal to both sides of the brain simultaneously, rather than simply aiming to target one side or the other. This way, your advertising will succeed in engaging the brain as a whole.
At Direct Response Media, we combine our right brain creativity with our left brain data analysis to design marketing campaigns that maximise ROI for our clients. Get in touch to find out more.
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