April 22, 2015

Déjà Vu

By Sarah Hall

April 22, 2015

Déjà Vu

In the early 70's, scientists were exploring the correlation between stimulation and excitement in patients, by using their brain activity. Humans are programmed to have a strong response to excitement, which often coincides with “getting our attention”. It fires intense signals to the brain to unleash a chain of activity that helps us encode information and learn. Human beings are designed to continually digest new information. It’s one of the keys to our evolutionary success. That's rudimentary but also why we are not digging into each others heads to find a "poux" - well, some are but that's another story.


To track this response, our team of white coated gentlemen (or ladies) decided to create a test called the orange juice experiment. It's basic, but effective. The recipe is as follows:


Take the patients and split them into 2 groups. Blind fold them to avoid visual stimulation (creep), then start to drop sips of orange juice and sips of water with the pattern described below into their mouths.


Group A:

orange juice, water, orange juice, water, orange juice, water, orange juice, water.


Groupe B:

orange juice, water, water, orange juice, water, water, water orange juice.


Group A has a repetitive pattern comparable to a computing system —

0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1 etc


Group B has a random pattern using the same vocabulary —

0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, etc.


The results were consistent. Group A's brain waves screamed BORED after 15 seconds as the pattern was analyzed by the brain and deemed repetitive. Group B was uber-excited as soon as the orange juice was given because the “random” pattern was impossible for the brain to detect.


We went Bill Nye on you to use this study as an example of our creative collaboration with our clients. We want to find interesting ways to break the pattern, administer the orange juice and authentically excite our audience.


Think about the campaigns that have performed well in the past few years. Dumb ways to die, the new ads for Old Spice — both breaking the pattern of expectations set for their industry. We used this same approach on several projects this past year, such as CR, a project where we strove to reunite an image driven industry with copy through a uniquely constructed publishing template. This dramatically increased both the time spent on the site and the number of returning visitors. Or Quorum, the LGBT conference we created for The Daily Beast, where we rethought the visual aesthetic of how you capture a “talk” in order to enhance the online viewing experience. Doing so drove awareness and enabled us to leverage the online sharability of the event. As a result, we cumulated 25 million impressions in one day for an event that was previously unknown.


Our focus for the upcoming year is to continue to break the pattern in some key industries, including publishing, luxury and architecture industries — sectors that we believe miss many opportunities by playing it too “safe”. After all, “you laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."