People tend to believe that they are seeing the world as it is, but we actually are not. Humans do not have the ability to experience the world as a whole; people can only digest small portions of situations. In other words, people subconsciously decide what they want to experience in every moment, even though they think that they are experiencing life just like everyone else. Every situation in life is different for every person. Why is this? It is because of a human trait called in-attentional deafness/blindness, which can be defined as a human exclusively sensing what their body allows them to understand at a specific moment.
In the most simple terms, humans do not have the ability to understand everything within a
situation. People actually tend to digest very little of a situation, which explains how individuals
are often misplaced at crime scenes or wrongfully identified (a significant issue within the
criminal justice system). Unfortunately, humans are not aware of what they are truly
experiencing. Even walking down the street, an individual can not possibly see every person that
walks by, view every street sign, or listen in on everyone’s conversations. Being able to use
every single one of our senses is humanly impossible, based on the science of inattentional
blindness and deafness.
This simple concept of human understanding applies to the modern marketer. When advertising
first became popularized in the 1950s, professionals came up with catchy slogans and memorable commercials. Those approaches are no longer effective, and marketers have had to get creative with their strategies. Everyday, people are viewing an abundance of ads via social media, television, celebrities, tangible ads, etc. Everywhere people look and go, they are bound to see multiple forms of advertisements, which can be a suffocating thought. Therefore, businesses
must stand out among a sea of advertisements, especially knowing that humans are selective
about what they pay attention to. With an understanding of in-attentional blindness/deafness,
marketers have been more successful in developing effective advertisements that will
realistically engage a target market. The 1950s rhyming slogan simply won’t capture an
individual in the 2021, as people are continuously swarmed with information.
It is unknown if today’s professional marketers are fully aware of the science behind the
strategies they are incorporating, but there should be a deeper understanding of the human lack
of perception by all. Humans need to be aware that they are not experiencing the world as it is,
and are actually selecting what they would like to understand. This raises a significant question
to marketers; what do we want people to understand? The answer is simple, a business wants
individuals to understand their advertisements and products. I suppose the better question is,
how? How can a business possibly engage an individual if the person subconsciously does not
pay attention to any situation or scene in its entirety? Especially when there are millions of other advertisements to compete with? The best answer is to get creative, listen to the market, and use the science of human senses to successfully guide you to an effective advertisement.
Hannah Smolicz is currently an undergrad student and was previously a “client” of ours. She reached out to us four years ago for assistance with developing an e-Commerce presentation for her DECA competition. Now, as she continues her educational journey, Hannah is back as a guest content writer, with a goal of developing her portfolio and