A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads
If the ratio of sensory receptors to brain synapses is any indication, then you and I are comparatively ill equipped to experience a material world. While our 100 million sensory receptors allow us to see, hear, feel, taste and smell, 10,000 billion brain synapses allow us to experience things which never happened. Yes, reality is a fragile thing. We are much better equipped for experiences which are contained fully in the mind.
We have lived with Tarzan in the jungle, journeyed beneath the sea with Captain Nemo, been stranded on an island with Robinson Crusoe and sailed with a peg-legged man named Ahab as he pursued a great white whale. If these experiences were the only evidence of our amazing abilities, they would surely be enough. But wait, there’s more.
A teenage prodigy named Ludwig Van Beethoven met the great Amadeus Mozart just a few years before Mozart died. Not yet old enough to shave, Beethoven was already swimming in fame and recognition. His compositions were solicited by publishers before they were even finished. Yet in less than a decade, young Beethoven was struggling with thoughts of suicide. Our young musical genius had begun to lose his hearing.
Beethoven chose to live however, and he chose to continue his work as a composer; though as he became increasingly deaf, his works became more difficult to understand. It was during his years of total deafness that he answered a critic by saying, “They are not for you, but for a later age.”
Had Ludwig Van Beethoven been able to maintain the quality of his compositions during his years of total deafness, most people would have considered it an amazing feat. Yet Beethoven did not merely equal his earlier compositions, he greatly surpassed them. The complex and magical things he wrote while living in a world of utter silence are generally considered to be his greatest masterpieces.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was capable of hearing music in a silent world, but his ability to hear symphonies in his head was nothing special. Beethoven’s brain was no more capable than those of the people with whom you deal every day. Physiologically, each of us is Beethoven’s equal. You can hear Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in your mind right now, if you’d like. Remember how it begins?
Just like you and me and Ludwig Van Beethoven, your customers have the amazing ability to see with their eyes closed and to hear when there is no sound. They can touch what isn’t there and taste what they have not yet eaten. In your advertising, don’t speak to the world outside your customers, speak to the world inside their minds. Give them a taste of the experience you have waiting for them in this meeting place we call Reality.
Roy H. Williams
“People go only to places they have already been in their minds.”
The 7th Law of the Advertising Universe