Each second, the brains processes 11 million bits of sensory information, but only one hundred of those bits reach our conscious minds. What handles the rest? The mysterious subconscious mind. In fact, 95% of our thoughts and emotions occur in the subconscious long before we are ever aware of them says Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence.
So you want to control the minds of your audience through digital signage? Well, most digital signage software providers don’t offer hypnosis or subliminal messaging services (that we know of), but they can display your messages in a way that “sticks out.” But first, we must discuss the three minds of our audiences. They will have a huge impact on how we transmit certain communications.
The three minds work in combination to make up our thoughts and actions. Digital signage has the ability to tap into the deeper levels of consciousness. By displaying attractive, repetitive, and dynamic content, messages are embedded into the viewer’s subconscious mind. The medium is more effective than email and poster communications.
What’s in front of you? Is the temperature of the room too cold? Are you still recovering from the frantic commute to work this morning? These are the mental functions of the conscious mind. Your conscious mind is that voice in your head that handles your present awareness-- the in the moment thoughts. You’re no stranger to this voice and its opinions. It has been interpreting the data given to you in real time for your entire life.
That means that the subconscious is responsible for almost everything we think and feel, including what we buy. Caroline Winnett and Andrew Pohlmann of The Nielsen Company found that 90% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. Yet so many advertisements try to appeal to the conscious mind by implying “savings” or “exclusivity.” How can marketers rework their content to address this powerful, underlying portion of the brain? This first step is to understand the subconscious mind.
Now think back to your first day of kindergarten. You’ve just accessed your subconscious mind; the bank of recallable information. Frequently used phone numbers, song lyrics, book titles… These memories are not constantly on your “front burner,” but when you wish to think about them, your subconscious brings them forward. Your subconscious mind is also responsible for literally taking the wheel and driving for you when your conscious mind is occupying your attention. For instance, you don’t have to concentrate on each street name during your daily commute to work. That’s because you have memorized your commute, and sadly, have better things to think about than each twist and turn in the road.
The subconscious mind is an infinitely vast storage space of everything we see, hear, and experience. When the conscious mind cannot process all of the information in a given situation, the subconscious takes over. Sometimes the subconscious tries to give the conscious mind clues about a current situation in the form of instinctually. We’ve all experienced the sense that “something didn’t feel right,” but we weren’t sure why- that was our subconscious communicating with our consciousness. Transversely, the subconscious mind can evoke positive emotional responses in us.
Another important factor to consider is that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. For instance, when you are watching a scary movie, you might actually feel fear even though you know that it is just a movie. That’s because the subconscious mind is taking the scenarios of the movie literally.
The Unconscious Mind is as mysterious as it sounds and is often the area that psychologist are interested in the most. Your unconscious mind is the made up of your long-term memory storage, as well as your instincts and drives. It contains all of the mental programs that you’ve had since birth. Your behaviors are based off of the patterns and beliefs stored in the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is constantly communicating with the conscious mind through your subconscious mind. These communications come in the form of feelings, emotions, and dreams.
To create content that taps into the subconscious mind of your viewers, you need to invoke their emotions. This doesn’t mean to sprinkle ‘Attention Vampires’ over every bit of digital content. As our previous blog says, pictures of babies, riskay women, and cuddly animals will distract your viewers away from your messages. The idea is to subtly evoke an emotion in your viewers without them consciously realizing it. In other words, they should not realize what is making them feel nostalgic or angry.
The first step in digital communication is to get your audience to pay attention to your message! In the workplace, chances are employees thinking about projects, client needs, or food. In retail, consumers are focused on money, text messages, and food. To break their concentration from the business of these thoughts, you need to tap into their conscious minds. Colorful, bright, moving images are rudimentary ways of attracting attention. With digital signage, messages are delivered via moving images and visually appealing designs.
Repetition takes messages and images that would tossed to the forgotten bin, and places them in the subconscious mind. There, the messages can easily transfer to the conscious mind. It sounds like witchcraft, but it’s simply exercising the effectiveness of repetitive content. Email communications and bulletin board posts are read once, then thrown aside. Digital signage, on the other hand, is a constantly present medium that cycles communications to be played as often as needed.
Unlike your daily commute, digital signage content is constantly changing which keeps viewers on their toes. While making the important messages repetitive, users can switch up the look and composition of the slides, so viewers think they are seeing a new piece of content. This results in the viewers rereading the content from before. Other content, like fun facts, news headlines, and traffic updates can play between company content so viewers are more inclined to glance at the signs.
The esthetics of the content, before the message is even read, has a profound impact on viewer engagement. The font, imagery, and colors of the digital content travel through the subconscious where they can either induce or deter the desired behavior. According to the University of Loyola, Maryland, color increases brand recognition by 80%. In our blog “Digital Signage isn’t Always Black and White,” we explain what colors have been determined to strike certain emotions. Shapes also impact us without our awareness. Curves in design project comfort, which is why Apple and Coca-Cola have implemented on rounded shapes into their logo and product designs.
Jedi mind tricks are real. Well, sort of. The subconscious mind is 5 times more powerful than the conscious mind. Content creators should learn to harness the factors that positively affect the subconscious minds of their viewers. Just as theatrical trailers invoke an urge to see a movie, your content inspire viewers to engage in your messages without them even realizing it. Viewers with an emotional connection to your content will be more inclined to share their findings, as well!