12. The Human Animal.

BBC: The Human Animal

This is a crazy series that looks at human beings through the eyes of an anthropologist. He analyzes everything from language to food processes to love – and makes it all make sense. I’m a huge fan of nature shows (obviously) but have never thought to analyze human behavior in the same way. Really makes you realize that we really haven’t evolved much – our genes just can’t keep up with the times. Almost everything we do every day is based on instinct and emotion.

In the first episode body language is addressed as the transmission of messages from human to human. For example, why is a smile a symbol of anti-aggression? Turns out smiling releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers and decrease violent or aggressive behavior. Smiling is contagious so the idea is that the peace will catch on. Now, what does this mean for advertising?

All advertising is is transmitting messages from human to human, correct? It uses images and sounds and stimulates the senses to get an emotional response, as I have discussed in prior blog posts. When it comes down to it, our responses to branding and media are primal. We see someone smiling on TV, we feel so inclined to try their product or brand. And yes, I really do think it’s as simple as that. Why then are ads with the most simple messages and most appealing visuals or sounds the most successful? Because humans are creatures of habit.

We can learn so much from resources we find around us… my curiosity got the best of me and I spent an entire afternoon watching these videos and now feel so much more informed about the world around me. Moral? Be inquisitive, be curious, and be resourceful. You never know what you might find if you simply dig around a little bit.

 “All this does is puts us in our place in the scheme of nature on planet earth.”

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