Tomorrow’s reality is created by today’s imagination. And the secret formula to help us create, direct, forge, condition and ferment the future is by using the simple genius of words.
Sounds too simple? Consider a few erudite facts: If you were to dissect your brain, you will see that a considerably larger area of the brain is devoted to sound than to sight. Sight and sound are not only received by separate organs, but are stored and processed in totally separate areas of the brain. The area of the brain that stores memory and the processing of sound touches more areas of the brain than any other. In so many words, more sound touches more of life in more ways than any other function of the brain.
And here’s another insider: When you compare the ratio of our 100,000,000 sensory receptors that enable us to see, hear, feel, taste and smell the outside world to the 10,000,000,000,000 (ten trillion) brain synapses that enable us to relate new data to stored memories and ideas — or, to think, ponder, imagine, create and experience things that never took place — we realize that physical reality is a fragile and transient thing.
We are better equipped for experiences that are fully contained in the mind. Ironically, small minds would contend otherwise; they insist on making choices in the security of physical reality so they deny the existence of that which cannot be tested, proven or measured. (These are the same minds who decry the foolishness of faith in a world of science).
Which is just the point. Advertising doesn’t affect physical reality in the slightest. Physical reality is contained in the limited universe of matter and energy. Advertising only affects the world inside the mind. The world of the future, the world of the possible — or, ‘perceptual reality’ as communication theorists call it.
In fact, given the above ratio, we are 100,000 times more capable of experiencing the invisible than the visible. And the way to link the world inside the mind with the meeting place we call reality is by building a bridge with words. Some people call this bridge advertising, some call it selling, some call it persuasion. But whatever it’s called, it must be strong enough to carry a dream merchant’s dream.
Words, after all, are our history. The representation of our collected conscience. As Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” The world as we know it revolves around words. We read them, memorize them, conduct our lives by them, remember what great leaders had to say by them. Words start and end wars, affairs, companies and brands; they bring us our laughter and tears, our fortunes and trials. We are defined, refined and joined by their absolute majesty.
While most advertising clients can come up with fantastic business ideas; they, sadly, lack the words to fuel them. While a great vision or idea may carry the seedlings of change, it is the power of vivid, electric and magical words that carries an idea skyward.
In order for words to work wonders, they must be chosen for the ’emotional voltage’ they carry. They must shock a little — for if the hearer is not jolted, you can be sure s/he is not moved. Predictable, listless and dull words can cripple an idea with potential just as easily as they destroy empires. Napoleon agrees: “Small plans do not inflame the hearts of men.”
In order for us to move the heart and illuminate the mind, we must trigger the imagination of our prospects with the energy of words instead of the stockpile of ‘professionally creative’ clichés. They may work; but they do not prevail.
Like you and me, our prospects can see what they’ve never seen, hear what they’ve never heard, and taste what they’ve never tasted (remember the 1:100,000 ratio?). Further proving Advertising 101’s claim that where the mind has already gone, the body is sure to follow.
And it begins with the word.