Does your current marketing effort feel "flat"?  Picture this:  

You're a runner.  You walk into a sneaker store to get new kicks.  You head over to the "running shoes" section, pick up a pair, and go home.  BORRRRING!!  Now picture this:  you walk into a sneaker store and there's a treadmill with a huge screen in front of it and a projector hooked up to the screen. You get on the treadmill wearing a sneaker you are thinking about purchasing and as you start walking, the screen begins to display imagery taking you on a trail run through the woods.  As it simulates the experience of the run, you can hear the sounds of nature and see the trees and sunshine in this immersive experience (think flight-simulator or video game).  This in turn activates the parts of your brain that prompt the positive associations you have with running and nature, such as: joy, excitement, being outdoors, physical exertion, etc. and now creates a dynamic immersion far beyond the flat experience of trying on the sneakers in isolation.  Suddenly, you see other runners in the video who have now joined you.  They stop for a drink to quench their thirst and maybe to power up with a protein bar.  Conveniently, there is a display of various energy drinks and protein bars for sale next to the treadmill, and due to the mirror neurons in your brain (explained below), you find yourself wanting the same.  After you finishing fueling up and completing your new sneaker purchase, this engagement is now embedded in your memory as an experience, associated with this brand, and this is how marketing becomes infused with feelings. 

In his book, Unconscious Branding, former Deutsch LA EVP Douglas Van Praet states, "...our decisions are based upon: 1-the physical experiences of our body, 2-the emotions and feelings of our heart, and 3-the rationalizations or logic of our head.  Marketing needs to create engaging emotionally and physically stimulating brands..."  Sneaker-treadmill-mock run nails that!

Mirror neurons are brain cells that sense the move another person is about to make and their feelings and instantaneously prepare to imitate that movement and feel with them.  Neuroscientists found this "neural Wifi" by accident in 1992.  They were mapping the sensorimotor area of monkeys' brains by seeing which cells lit up during a specific movement.  The remarkable discovery came when a research assistant came back from a break eating an ice cream cone.  The scientists were stunned to see sensorimotor cell activation as one monkey watched the assistant lift the cone to his lips.  A distinct set of neuron seemed to activate when the monkey merely observed another monkey, or one of the experimenters, making a given movement(1).  So, watching others eat and drink prompts your brain to want to do the same.  

ENGAGE:  Need to add some life to your marketing efforts?  Want to create an immersive experience to engage your clients?  Click here to contact me. 

GO FURTHER: To learn more about mirror neurons, and pick up Daniel Goleman's book Social Intelligence, click here(1).  

To pick up Douglas Van Praet's book Unconscious Branding, click here.