What comes to mind when I ask you to complete this sentence? “A good marketing campaign should be … ” Catchy? Memorable? Unique?

None of these is wrong, but a better answer might be “low in calories.” And don’t worry, I’m not trying to get you to go on a diet.

So why should a good marketing campaign be low in calories? And what does this even mean?

The truth is that calories may play a bigger role in our lives than we realize. Early human beings evolved to survive in a time when food was much more scarce than it is today. As one researcher pointed out, it was essential to conserve energy by resting.

And these instincts are still in play today. Those evenings you’ve spent in front of a TV or flicking through a mobile phone app before looking at the clock and bemoaning the lost time? Don’t be too hard on yourself because what we often dismiss as laziness is actually an innate evolutionary defense mechanism. As far as your subconscious is concerned, watching one more episode of Gilmore Girls helps you conserve essential energy.

With this in mind, it’s essential that marketing campaigns don’t require audiences to use too much brainpower. Research has shown that brain activity typically accounts for about 20% of our energy use, which adds up to around 320 calories per day. This is an enormous amount considering that our brains are a mere 2% of our body weight.

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