by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC
A friend sent me this image that supposedly tests how right-brained or left-brained you are (if she’s not moving, click on her to make her spin)…
One neurologist blogger, Dr. Steven Novella, has already disputed that it’s a test of anything — he asserts that it’s just a fun optical illusion. I trust the brain doc, but here’s the text that came with this illusion…
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.
LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
words and language
present and past
math and science
knows object name
RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
“big picture” oriented
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
knows object function
Regardless of whether it’s really a right-vs-left test, I share it here because a) it’s fun, b) it’s eye-catching, c) it’s an example of what it takes for media to go viral. Let’s look at the buzzworthy elements of this baby:
1. Creative Visual: Whether it’s a photo, video, or — in this case — gif animation, a creative visual immediately catches the eye. (Plus, we’re all attracted to the human form. Naked spinning human forms in particular.) That seems obvious, but a lot of marketers try to promote “word of mouth” with words only. Support your local artist!
2. Interactivity: This isn’t just something to read — it’s something to interact with. And it actively engages the viewer without being as demanding as, say, a multiple-choice brain teaser. Another effective form of interactivity is a simple poll, which I know I can’t resist.
3. Education: We humans like to learn things, particularly about ourselves. The reason school was often so painful was because of the uninspired presentations, and because it was also so freakin’ serious. (“Pass or fail!”) Educational media performs exceedingly well in a non-academic context, particularly if done with a little showbiz flair. As I noted in an earlier post, Suze Orman is building a media empire based on personal finance. And some of the biggest hits on YouTube are how-to or demonstration videos, such as this Diet Coke + Mentos classic:
That one video probably boosted Mentos sales more than all those creepy Swedish commercials put together. (I’m sure the folks at Diet Coke were damned gleeful over this as well.)
So if you can make your message visually creative, interactive and entertainingly educational, you’ve got the elements for one viral piece of media. To help it on its viral way, you then need to launch a little promo campaign — but we’ll save that for another blog. I’m too dizzy from watching this girl spin. (And by the way, I can only see her spinning clockwise.)
Update 3/6/8: I finally did get her to go the other way. It took a lot of sweet talking and some chocolate, but it worked…