The Reptilian Brain

Neuro Marketing Part One

Have you ever wondered why you notice some adverts and not others?

The reptilian brain is thought to be the oldest evolutionary area and sits in the centre surrounded by the Limbic System and Neocortex.  Our basic instinctive systems are stored in the reptilian brain.  It passes messages to the limbic part of the brain, stating if it is hungry, cold, hot, thirsty, in pain, happy, sad, if it should be aggressive, submissive, or sexually aroused.  The limbic brain controls messages in and out of the reptilian brain so that we are protected from the reptilian instincts.  The limbic brain is responsible for pleasure, and pain.

Why might this information be useful to people working in the copywriting or marketing industries?

Knowing how people react to things and how to make a connection with them will give you a better chance of influencing their decisions, or thoughts.   Connecting with a person’s reptilian brain can be done through making them angry, aggressive, or sexually aroused.  If you think about the advertisements that are promoted by large marketing companies, they often use images that connect with the reptilian brain. Sexually alluring female and male models, promises of improving your ability to attract a sexual mate, pictures of food designed to trigger your need for tasty food.

Bluch Advert



Budweiser Advert

armarni jeans


The reptilian brain is responsive to images, one reason for this is that the optic nerve connects right into this area of the brain.  This does not mean that the reptilian brain only responds to images, written words can create an image in the mind that is just as strong as visual stimulation.

Many marketers use target the reptilian brain as it is easy to fool and it connects with our primal desires.  Look at the image below, do you see a spiral or circles?

Your reptilian brain is telling you that you’re seeing a spiral, but the reality is that you are looking at several circles.


So, as a content writer, or marketer, here are a few things you should know about the reptilian brain :

  • Your reptilian brain is self-centred, it’s all about YOU!
  • It’s always on, if you want to get something noticed then use images or words that connect with the reptilian brain.  Sex, food, aggression, fear…
  • It controls your routines and habits
  • It connects with the emotional brain
  • Instinct and arousal are linked to the reptilian brain
  • Desire and need are often stronger motivating factors than logic

If you want to produce content that converts and influences your audience then try to connect with their reptilian brain.  You might be pleasantly surprised how influential it can be.


Further information on neuromarketing will be added to the blog very soon, so keep checking back, or add your name to the subscription list.




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