sounds like genius

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First, a confession. I’ve always been a sucker for radio.

You supply the story, the audience supplies the pictures. Now that’s interactive. Plus, compared to print and television, radio is inexpensive to produce. $500 for an award-winning spot? That’s how much my first clio winner cost.

Turns out, audio is even more powerful that we thought. Two recent articles reveal how aural persuasion taps our unconscious.


In this week’s Time magazine, ¬†Martin Lindstrom, author of the best seller “Buyology”, hooked up participants to neoro-sensors. He discovered that some sounds zap right past our thinking brains and compel us in primal ways. Irresistable forces.

The New York Times magazine looks at how the top two contenders for Best Picture, “Hurt Locker” and “Avatar”, both use sound to create entirely new worlds. The lush jungles of Pandora and the dry, still world of bomb defusers — would either movie be as effective without their world of sound? Not likely.

How are you using sound to change minds?

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4 Responses to “sounds like genius”

  1. John Arnold Says:

    Reminds me of a study I heard/read about in the late 1980s (and, for which I will try to dredge up a reference)… As I recall, an early study by the MIT Media Lab showed that stereo TV looked better than mono TV! (That is, study participants ‘shown’ both consistently indicated that the stereo TV picture looked better even though the pictures shown were identical.)

    – John –

  2. lindabutton Says:

    Thanks John, love to see that study! A rich sound track adds millions to the picture.

  3. Lisa Hickey Says:

    I remember driving once, talking to someone on the phone. And I could see my friend so clearly, in her room, by her computer, curtains blowing in the soft wind. And after I got off the phone with her I thought “UH OH. If my eyes were seeing her, how did I think I was watching the street?” I try REALLY hard not to talk and drive now.

    While I’m not usually one for long paragraphs of spoken words, the right radio spot can be so delightful! As long as you WANT to entertain, me, want to keep me engaged — I’m yours.

    Thanks for the memories Linda!

  4. lindabutton Says:

    Your imagination is particularly powerful, Lisa. And I’ve seen (heard?) you use simple audio with real potency in your videos.

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