Misdirection, Pokemon-Go and Augmented Reality
3 Strategic Attention Management Tools Every Magician Should Know
Thanks to the outbreak of Pokemon-Go, the real secrets to astonishing all your audiences are easier to find than ever before.
What do great magicians, master marketers and Pokemon-Go all have in common?
Unbeatable use of Augmented Reality to gain, keep and predict the pattern of their audience’s attention.
(If you haven’t seen this quick video by my buddy, the fantastically funny magician Mark Correia, get ready to laugh!)
Great magicians have always used the strategies Pokemon-Go is using. And they are the same strategies used in every successful sales campaign as well. So, I’m going to spill the beans and let you in on some real magic secrets you can share with anyone… and ones that could start – or save – your career.
Strategy #1: ATTENTION – Once you have it, do not let it go
I was walking around a normally quiet town last night, but all of a sudden something was very different. There were many, many people out walking around… all of them staring intently at their phones without looking up
Their faces kind of reminded me of stunned audience members in the middle of, or just after witnessing an unforgettable, mind-blowing magic routine.
That’s when it hit me: In magic – and Pokemon Go – the secret is to keep your audience’s attention on the action, moment to moment, to create seamless continuity between the world and the magical experience.
And from the moment you decide to download the app, Pokemon-Go does not let your attention wander:
If you have ever witnessed even one display of memorable close-up magic, it’s because you met a magician who knew how to augment your reality, just like Pokemon-Go, without using an electronic device.
Sometimes magicians call this misdirection – but you cannot successfully misdirect someone unless you have first captured and held their attention.
Whether you’re a magician, marketer, or just a human being who wants to communicate well, you can only do it by crafting your message to ensure the audience’s attention is held at every moment.
That’s how Pokemon-Go sucks us into the world of the game, and how magicians make you feel like you never looked away. They never let your attention drift. The moment they do, the illusion is broken.
Strategy #2: Insist on Participation at All Times
Magicians have known at least one Pokemon-Go strategy for centuries. If your audience is participating, they are paying attention.
Great magicians ask their audience to participate at every possible moment. Both by actively doing something – or at the very least by mentally experiencing – the magic tricks. We all know that a trick which takes place in the hand’s of the audience is ten times more powerful than one that does not.
Pokemon-Go is taking the participation requirement to the next level by engaging not only your mind, your eyes and your hands… but also something entirely new.
If you’ve seen or played the game, you know you have to keep moving to keep the party alive.
This level of participation is Strategy #1 on STEROIDS. That’s why it’s working so well. And that’s also why people are falling of cliffs, getting mugged and getting rundown ‘playing in traffic’.Whether you’re a magician, marketer or communicator, don’t wait for the end, or even the middle, to have your audience do something active. To grab their attention, keep it and get your message across, your audience should be doing something active at all times!
Here are a few actions magicians ask their audiences to take that work in every kind of situation:
- Answer a question, even if they only say the answers to themselves
- Write something down
- Picture something vivid in their minds; something powerful and relevant
In all these cases, you’re not just saying information. You’re actively engaging your audience as you perform, speak or sell.
Strategy #3: Anticipate Behaviour to Re-Engage Your Audience
“Will there be blood?” – Alan Moore
After the incident in the park last night, we downloaded the Pokemon-Go app on principle. We spent ten more minutes in the park after downloading because the clever marketers of the game compelled us to…
If you’ve played even once you know why. Strategies #1 and #2 were in effect.
From the very beginning the game does not let you do anything but take action after action after action. It’s several minutes of onboarding before you play a blessed thing!
After we were onboarded, we drove toward our destination. I drove, while my passenger attempted to look for Pokemon to take out via ‘drive-by’ like a character in a 90’s gang movie.
We pulled in, a little disappointed that no creatures were sitting by our pool. I went into the house, did a quick sweep for signs of infestation, closed the app and went back to life.
I awoke in bed late that night with a strange feeling. I already knew it…
Something was there in the room with me. In my bed. I swear I could hear it breathing….
Like Harold Ramis from the original Ghostbusters, I took out my detector (opened the app), and there they were… Three of them sitting right on my bed.
So I did what any man would do. I defended my home. And this time, the monsters were not as cute as the ones in the park. One had the word ‘rat’ in his name – and I had to hit him 5 times before he went down!
I’m a magician and I have been for 20 years. The moment I woke up, I knew that the masters of illusion at Pokemon-Go would have anticipated my closing of the app after my first successful experience.
And I knew they would do what any magician, marketer or person whose life depends on
communication would do. Knowing my attention would drift, they would have a powerful plan for getting it back.
To communicate in any field, your task is the same. Figure out where you are losing the audience (this will come with just a little experience), then surprise them, re-engage them, and see Strategy #1 and #2.
Pokemon-Go, Magicians and Marketers all create a kind of magic. No matter what you do, you will lose the audience at times. That’s no problem. In fact, it’s part of the game that creates the magic.
Plan to lose the audience. After a short while, you’ll know they’re attention is gone before they do. Then…
And they’ll be hooked like never before.
I’d like to write more about this, but, I think I just heard something moving around in my fridge…
…GOT ‘EM! 😉
“Yes, I rather think there will be blood. Lots of blood. Blood in extraordinary quantities.” – Alan Moore