Pain, Fear and Mean Mr. Mustard

Posted on June 26, 2012


In his iMedia Connection article “The Truth About Engagement,” Joseph Carrabas, the Founder & Chief Research Officer for NextStage Evolution discusses how a person’s unconscious mind works hard to keep out distractions so we can concentrate.

Carrabas says there are some things the unconscious mind let’s through its barriers, “Examples include our child’s cry of pain or fear, a car speeding towards us, and anything from The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album.”

He added the reference to the Beatles album to illustrate a concept called meaningful noise; something your subconscious allows to get through not due to its importance but because it doesn’t follow along with what was expected. The importance of a Beatles’ song is rarely put on the same level as a baby in pain or the threat of being run over by a car. Since that reference is so out-of-place, the subconscious mind passes it along to the conscious part of the brain causing the person reading the paragraph to pay attention at a higher level.

This type of disruption can help get your audience’s attention.

When you are promoting the station show for the 195th time find a way to disrupt the information flow so you can get past the barriers your listener’s subconscious minds have put up over the course of the 194 other times you’ve read the promo. It might just get them to pay more attention.