Think Big April 27, 2021

Fakes Left, Goes Right: An Advertising Timeline of the Left & Right Brain

How the science of advertising has changed everything.

Blame the TikTok Generation, the 6-second pre-roll, or even the Internet as a whole, regardless of why you think this is, you can’t deny that advertising is quite focused on fast messages and visuals designed to grab your attention and stimulate as quickly as possible. But this wasn’t always the case as back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s commercials would have progressive storylines, patience and character development.

Ready to get science-y for a second? These different advertising styles speak to different parts of the human brain. For instance, ads that speak to the left side of the brain convey unilateral, or one-way messaging, whereas ads that speak to the right side of the brain offer a sense of inclusion, interpretation and betweenness.

But which ad types are most effective? That’s a tricky question as brands and brand success are all very loosely defined in 2021. What we can do is show you how some famous ads in the past walked the tightrope between the left and right brain. To illustrate this evolution, check out our timeline that demonstrates this gradual progression from left to right, then possibly back again.

These words are by Scott Lew, Jackson Murphy, Marguerite Gaylie. Visuals by Ethan Sztuhar.

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