From the lovely Roger Dooley´s blog about neuroscience marketing I found a guide on how magicians can help marketers, based on their understanding on humans. A summary of the post:
1. People Focus on Only One Thing
Many illusions are based on the magician showing you something with one hand while doing something you don’t notice with his other. Marketers need to be sure they have their target’s attention where they want it. If the customer is distracted by something the key point of the pitch will be missed.
2. Motion Attracts our Attention
Our brains are wired to respond to motion – in prehistoric times, movement might be a threat, or perhaps food. Use motion to grab the attention of your audience and focus it where you want it. This is why magicians use flying doves to do their tricks... (to make us look at the dove and not the magician)
3. Big Motions Beat Little Motions
Magicians prevent you from seeing their small moves by distracting you with a big move – pulling a colorful scarf out using a sweeping gesture with their other hand. They know the audience will tune out the small move in favor of paying attention to the big one. If you are dealing with an audience that may be distracted, use BIG motions to snap them to attention.
4. The Unexpected Attracts Us
Much as our brains focus on motion, they also focus on novelty. Surprising your customer with an unexpected move, a novel sound, or unfamiliar image will get her to look at and analyze what she is seeing. That’s true even with text – “New!” is one of the most attention-getting words in advertising.
5. Mirror Neurons Engage Us
One reason we don’t notice when a magician scratches his nose but slyly palms a coin that was hidden in his mouth at the same time is that we KNOW what it feels like to scratch our nose. When he is performing that action, if we notice at all, our mirror neurons are lighting up as if duplicating that action ourselves. Selling soft drinks? Let people experience opening the bottle, raising it to their lips, and taking a drink.
6. Cut the Chatter
If you’ve ever been to a magic show, either on a stage or close-up, you know that the magician often keeps talking. Their purpose, of course, is not to give you real information about their technique but rather to distract you, which makes it less likely that you will spot what is really happening. While a stream of chatter serves the magician’s purposes, excessive verbiage may distract your customers from your selling points. Have you ever had a salesperson who wouldn’t shut up while you were examining a product?