Pattern Breaker: the One True Way to Steal Attention in a Saturated World

Eliphas Levi

“Order is never observed; it is disorder that attracts attention because it is awkward and intrusive.” – Eliphas Levi, Born Feb. 8, 1810.

Imagine a turd in a hotdog bun.

The easiest way to get attention is to defy expectation, and break the prevailing pattern.

Why? The brain exists to keep us alive. To accomplish this, it identifies patterns of safeness and makes you bored. Boredom is safe.

So our primitive ancestors ignored the boring sameness of jungle foliage and only paid attention to anything the BROKE the regular and orderly pattern of green.

A jaguar. A banana. A potential mate. These break the pattern and capture attention involuntarily, without the observer even being conscious of it.

The brain is wired to throw attention at potential threats and opportunities. Both of which are identified by breaking the monotonous pattern we've become so bored of that we ignore it.

And that is how we can use this as marketers and advertisers.

What makes your market/niche into a boring smear of sameness? What makes all competitors and alternatives to you and your offers safe to ignore? What makes them all dull and repetitive?

Explaining to your audience what makes these competitors all the same actually makes them feel boring, dull, routine, uninteresting. Not worth pursuing.

Now think about what you can do to stand out. How can you break this pattern? How do you already do so? What makes you a disorderly disruption of what is expected?

Figuratively, how do you make yourself into a moving splash of color in the sea of green jungle foliage?

Shake things up. Be bold. Diverge from the status quo. Zag when they zig. Make yourself into something odd that piques curiosity immediately, so the second they discover it, they MUST go deeper and investigate further.

They are compelled to.

Be the turd in the hotdog bun. How did it get there? Why is it there? Who does it belong to? Is it a prank? Is it art? Is it funny or serious? A million questions form around an unexpected break in the pattern.

And when people have questions, being the one with answers is a powerful position to be in. Answers promise to restore familiarity, safety, comfort – and everyone likes those things.

They'll trust your confident answers, and like you for providing them. And as you know, people buy from those they like and trust.

Turds like us.

1 thought on “Pattern Breaker: the One True Way to Steal Attention in a Saturated World”

  1. Hi Colin,

    I am blessed to observe a Facebook group.

    It's a lengthy parade of sheep straight down the cliff of sanity.

    Into an abyss of shiny images, soulless newsletters, and an orgy of bells and whistles. Blind leading the blind.

    What a circus.

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