May 21, 2016

THE ODD COUPLE IN OUR BRAIN


Bryan Del Monte loves movies. This must is the only explanation I can think of why this business coach compares our left and right brain with Felix and Oscar, the Odd Couple. 1968 Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau played an unusual team of buddies - the well organized Felix who split up with his wife and is forced to move into Oscar´s apartment – the household of a chaotic and notorious single. For those who are too young to remember this wonderful show: have a look into YouTube or try the remake debuts on CBS February 19th, 2015 with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. But before you get lost in this movie let´s go back to de Monte analogy. Why is he comparing the limbic and cognitive side of our brain with the Odd Couple?  The reason is simple. Because Del Monte sees images win over text.

Images win over text

Have a look into social media. Approximate 63 % of its content is visual. The last ten years we´ve seen visual content growing by 50 % in online media such as NewYorkTimes Online or SueddeutscheZeitung Online. And even powerpoint-presentations become more visual. We see a massive visual turn going on. And the reason is clear. The new media world is fast, complex, overwhelming and global. And images are the perfect answer to this challenges. They are fast. We process images 60,000 times faster than text. Images can be so simple. With a blink of an eye we understand their message. They are easy to understand and they are understood around the world.

Welcome a new era in communications: the visual era.

And this is where Del Monte brings the Odd Couple into the game. He explains brilliantly that our brain works like Felix and Oscar. There is a logical, rational side of our brain, call it Felix. Felix loves structures, language, text and solid arguments. And there is an intrinsic, intuitive side of our brain. Call it Oscar. And Oscar loves everything that is simple to use, easy to grab and which speaks to our emotions. So when you present a story … written in words and illustrated with images... guess who recognizes what: Felix will go after your text and Oscar is a fan of your images.

So far so good. But here comes the most important part: Oscar is faster than Felix. So which element of your story is the more effective one? It´s not the catchy name of your story or the brilliant headline of your article. Not the well rounded words and sentences you worked so hard on … it´s the images. They gain attention first and are most dominant.

“The brain prioritizes visual stimulus over all other types of content. (…) If your images suck, you lose.” (Bryan Del Monte)

Read Byran Del Monte´s full article “Why Certain Pictures Make You Click ON Awful Content” (Jeffbullas.com)