Psychological Ad Success Trigger No.6 (The Desire for Meaning)

Today we are going to discuss the last and the most powerful secret which can turn on the Neocortex like crazy.

I am excited to explain this to you with an amazing ad example from a company that I really admire.

In the past episodes we talked about 5 secrets and here is the quick recap,

We talked about the following psychological triggers

The promise of saving money

The promise of saving time

Inviting people to be a part of a community / be a part of social network

The promise of improving people’s status

The promise of helping to make money

The last psychological trigger is “Desire for Meaning.”


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As human beings we desire some identity, so when we are part of something bigger than us, we create an identity for ourselves.

We create an identity by associating ourselves with some values that we strongly believe in.

This also makes us get attracted towards like-minded people who believe in our values which eventually takes shape of a community.

And as per our cavemen days, being part of a community is good for our survival.

Our Neocortex brain loves anything that promotes our survival.

Secondly, when we stand for our values, whether it is good or bad we feel part of something establishes our position in the community.

This opens up opportunities to spread our genes and leave a legacy.

This meets the second criteria of the Neocortex’s ad filtration policy (of considering to consume information / advertisement that promotes our survival or helps us thrive).

Some real life examples…

A good real-life example will be the social media trolls that we see on the internet.

These are regular people like you and me but they end up taking a stand to defend the values the believe in, on a virtual platform – the internet.

And that stand that they take can be good or bad and subjects to what the individual believes in.

This is the reason we see people trolling – joining forces or abusing those with contradicting values.

The values can be associated with anything, it can be a cricket team or a Football team or even a political party.

During world cup tournaments we can see fans of the cricket teams buy merchandise of the teams they support to showcase their identity.

The fans also get involved in virtual battle when fans of opponent teams indulge in trash talking about the team they support.

The same behavior can be seen during election season between political party supporters.

This is prevalent in both online and offline world.

So, when people are on a defensive mode, they end up taking some automatic decisions which at times can be little irrational.

Top marketers use this psychological trigger very effectively to market and sell their products.

So, if your Ad is able to appeal to that prospective customer’s desire for meaning, then that’s the most powerful thing that you can do.

Your Ad can activate their Neocortex like crazy.

It can actually start a movement and it can even go viral by attracting like-minded people that believe in the value you’re Ad is appealing to.

Let’s look at the example advertisement –

Here is an Ad from Tesla motors.

Tesla Motors produces electric cars that are very attractive and its users claim that its performance is better than the petrol cars or diesel cars.

The company’s target audience is people who believe in using alternative energy sources for driving cars.

People who associate their value with caring for the environment.

The below AD reads “Clean Air, Clean Conscience”

Tesla motors ad

This directly appeals to people to be a part of “Save the Planet movement”, instantly activating the Neocortex of the target audience. This is very powerful.

I am a big fan of Tesla Cars; I wish to own one someday when it will be available for purchase in India 😊.

Tesla cars are selling like hot cakes, they are overbooked, their factories are not able to produce the number of cars that have already been booked.

Their branding and positioning are so powerful that they literally don’t spend any money on advertisement.

Their business model is very powerful because it is created on the psychological trigger of “Desire for Meaning”.

Action for Today

Make a repository of Ad’s that appeal to the psychological ad success trigger “Desire for Meaning”.

Some reference points will be the ads from movements like CRY “Child Rights and You”, the “Save Tiger” movement.

A more commercial example will be the “Think Different” ad campaign by Apple – That’s a classic!


Take inspiration from these ads if its applicable use in your future ads. And hey, don’t forget to do this exercise with your friends.

You will learn better by sharing the knowledge.

So, in the next video we are going to talk about the Limbic System, that’s the most powerful part of the brain in marketing context and it is responsible for all human behavior and all the buying decisions.

Here is the key takeaway from today’s video,

Next time you create an Ad, a headline, a thumbnail or a poster, it can be anything. Before you publish check if the ad is satisfying any of the 6 psychological triggers that activate the Neocortex brain.

If your ad is not appealing to any of the 6 psychological ad success triggers, then it is not going to do well.

You can rework on it to satisfy the psychological triggers.

I want you to make a list of these 6 psychological triggers and stick it in your workplace / cubicle.

Implementing this in your ads will give you consistent high impact results for your ads.

So that’s it for today, thank you so much and have a great day,

I will see you in the next video.

Be Remarkable. Be an Alpha.