Monday, July 27, 2009

Brain Rules - A Book Review

I found Brain Rules by John Medina through my Twitter feed. I was skeptical at first. How could a book about the brain be any use to me? I decided to check out the website and was instantly turned. The website made me believe the book would provide an interesting perspective on the brain and how it is used in the business world. I was still a little unsure on whether the book would make any sense to me or be useful.

I could not have been more wrong. The book, while technical in spots, is written in a very manageable style. The technical aspects are explained thoroughly and in such a way, you are actually left looking for a more in depth explanation. The information in the book, both from an advertising, and human perspective, is amazingly interesting. Every chapter offered another “wow” moment. So many things about the brain I never knew, explained so thoughtfully made me a huge fan of this book.

Below I’ve singled out some chapters and sections I found amazingly interesting and useful not only in advertising but business in general.

Chapter 1 – Exercise
- Exercise improves brain function including creativity.
- Agencies creative departments have always been different maybe treadmills would fit well.

Chapter 4 – Attention
- ECS – Emotionally Competent Stimulus – VW Crash commercial example.
- Why Mac’s 1984 ad worked.
- The brain remembers emotional aspects better than others.

Chapter 5 – Short Term Memory
- Most events that predict learning happen quickly. In the first two seconds of exposure.
- Environment has a major impact on learning.

Chapter 6 – Long Tern Memory
- New information given gradually and repeated improves long-term memory.

Chapter 7 – Sleep
- The amount of sleep a person needs will vary by person.
- An afternoon nap may be a biological urge felt by most of the world.

Chapter 9 – Sensory Integration
- Our senses work together, which means more learning is aided by stimulating multiple sense at once.
- PowerPoint presentations are great tools, if done properly.

Chapter 10 – Vision
- Vision is our most dominate sense.
- Learning and remembering is done best through visual mediums.

Chapter 12 – Exploration
- Humans are natural explorers. Providing an outlet for this tendency is a good thing.

I found this last chapter on exploration to be the most meaningful to me and my career in advertising. It proved to me that consumers are naturally inquisitive and they do not need to have information crammed down their throats. If a consumer is in the market for your product the best thing you can do is present the benefits and supporting information in an interesting manor and support their decision making process.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Even the parts that had no direct relevance to advertising or business provided new and interesting information I didn’t know. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to understand how people receive and analyze advertising.

If you’d like to find out more about the book, visit the website. Or if you’ve seen enough and want to buy it, you can find it here - Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Has anyone else read this book or one like it? What did you think? What did you take from it and apply to your craft?

- Dennis

Full Disclosure – I have no affiliation with the author of this book or the publisher. The text link to the book on Amazon is an affiliate link.

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