Were cavemen the original information heroes?

Were cavemen the original information heroes

Today information percolates our entire lives, it changes the way we do business, improves our health and powers our decisions. So it’s only right that we celebrate the people that got us here.

You will witness some of the most breath-taking art this planet has to offer in the caves of our ancestors in Pech Merle, southern France. Images of lions and horses, painted 25,000 years ago, loom from the cavern walls. Many animals are depicted in vivid colours but more interestingly, most have clusters of symbols painted next to them which researchers now believe is a form of visual code that was used between tribes to communicate. 

In the absence of words, only images will do. 

That was as true 40,000 years old – when the oldest cave paintings were created – as it is today. For most of us, a shape, a logo or a colour is enough to jog our memories and spark an emotion or action. 

Our ancestors recognised that awareness and recall of logos, pictures and colours is much more than something we learn – it’s shown that this is something we’re born with. So what does this mean for marketers and brands today? 

Business leaders know that products and services need to be marketed with every possible tool in their arsenal. Brand awareness is probably the most important of these tools – people like to engage with names that they recognise and trust. And images are key – 90 per cent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. 

Customers need to begin regularly engaging with a brand in order to bring it to the top of their mind when prompted. And what more effective way to do this than with images? 

In an information age where time is limited and attention spans are short, images capture an audience’s interest and cut through noise. They drive the point home. They compel people to act. Social Media Examiner, for example, found that brand blogs with visuals drive 180 per cent more engagement than purely text-based posts. 

This is not a new development.  Many millennia ago, our ancestors learned that a picture can provide an easy way of understanding and, crucially, being understood. This belief has carried through the ages right through to today, and will continue well into the future. 

We have always been visual beings, living in a visual society. Brands should never forget how powerful this is. Sometimes it seems that to be a true information hero, we need to get back to basics. 

Follow our series of #InfoHero articles celebrating the individuals who changed the way we consume and share information today here.

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