The human brain. So clever it named itself. The most complex structure in the universe, some say (those people have obviously never been trapped in the ever-shifting maze of the IKEA shop floor).

Yep, the brain is a beautiful thing. Not aesthetically, of course, but in what it’s capable of. But one thing our minds aren’t so hot at is focusing on multiple things at once. Apparently “the brain can’t effectively handle more than two complex, related activities at once”.

Well, let’s test that theory out – try to multiply 13 x 17 and remember the name of the guy who played Tony Soprano and envision the colour of your front door and conjure up what your high school gym teacher looked like…your beautiful brain just turns to a formless buzz of white noise.

Our brains filter out what they can in order to accomplish one or two tasks at a time effectively. That’s why when Derren Brown gets his cards out and starts to ask for your National Insurance number, you don’t notice that he’s nicked your watch.

Keep messages to a minimum or we won't catch them all

Throw us a ball, and we’ll catch it. Throw us three, and we will more likely than not (unless circus performers are currently reading this blog) drop them all.

This is exactly why we need to keep messages to a minimum in advertising. If a t-shirt says:

–– Best deals on old cars in town ––
‘We always match competitors’ prices’
£££ Get a quote today £££
“Don’t pay more than what you’re here for”

There’s no telling which message you’ll remember. If any. So even if you do remember something, it might not be the important part.

In the over-saturated world of advertising, it’s tough enough getting people to take in one message, never mind five. Keep your communications single-minded, straightforward, and as soak-up-able as they can possibly be.

Think of it like texting your ex – keep the messages to an absolute minimum.