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Logic is the most illogical way to advertise

Johnny Molson


Your brain already made a choice before “you” are conscious of it.

“Just tell ‘em the facts.” Seems a reasonable request. “I just want to educate the consumer.” Aaaand that’s where it breaks down. Nobody asked to be educated. Today is not the day people woke up craving a degree in dental health or knowledge about tire rotations. Tomorrow won’t be either. So why, in our information craving society, is logic so illogical?

The answer is as old as the human race. Before the written word, the elders would pass stories down to the young. Stories are easy to remember. Facts are not. Cave writings were a sort of storyboard graffiti. Legends, myths, and fables were the tools of education. The Bible teaches through stories, and we know of George Washington’s honesty by way of a conjured tale about a cherry tree.

After stories come emotions. The intuition of our ancestors to know the difference between safety and peril. The bond between mother and baby. Pride and fear. Shame and jubilation. Butterflies in the stomach. Not going on a date because of a “gut feeling.”

The brainy people who study brains tell us that well over 90% of our decision making is made in the subconscious mind. Your brain already made a choice before “you” are conscious of it. You step up into your SUV because it makes you feel good. It also delivers a message about you. You say out loud that you “need an SUV because I go camping, and sometimes get lumber from the hardware store.” But, the auto industry tells us that well over 90% of SUV owners never once “sport” or “utility” in their vehicle.

You buy your groceries from WalMart, Kroger, and Publix. Why not Aldi? Aldi cheaper. Logic says we only care about price. But, logic is a liar. It “makes sense” to eat at home for both health and financial reasons. How did restaurant revenue increase over $400 billion since 2000? With a couple ugly recessions in there.books

Our decisions are made emotionally. We might concoct a logical explanation for it, so we have something to say. But, emotions rule the roost. Why did (beautiful movie star) marry that dopey looking guy? Why do we judge the leader of the free world on likability? What did John Lennon see in Yoko Ono?

Why are you trying to apply logic to emotional things?

…and why are you trying to “educate” me through a commercial?

Tell me a good story.

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