In the realm of neuroscience, the Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a fascinating and crucial component of the brain. Located in the brainstem, the RAS acts as a filter for the millions of bits of information our senses are constantly bombarded with, allowing only the most important information to reach our conscious mind. This filtering process is vital for our survival, enabling us to focus on what is most pertinent in our environment. However, the significance of the RAS extends beyond basic survival—it has profound implications for sales and marketing strategies.

Understanding the RAS Brain

The Reticular Activating System is essentially the brain’s gatekeeper. It decides which sensory inputs are important enough to pass through to the conscious mind and which should be ignored. This decision-making process is influenced by various factors, including our beliefs, experiences, and the goals we are currently focused on. The RAS ensures that we notice information that aligns with these elements, which explains why we might suddenly notice how many red cars are on the road right after we decide to buy one ourselves.

In marketing, understanding the RAS means understanding how to get your message noticed in a world saturated with information. By tapping into the RAS, marketers can ensure their messages are seen, heard, and remembered by their target audience.

The RAS in Action: Correlation with Sales and Marketing

Attention and Awareness:

The first step in any marketing strategy is to grab the attention of potential customers. The RAS plays a crucial role here by filtering out irrelevant information and highlighting what is important to us. Marketers can leverage this by creating content that resonates with the audience’s existing beliefs, desires, and goals. For example, a fitness brand targeting health-conscious individuals can create content that aligns with the audience’s desire for a healthy lifestyle, thus making it more likely to pass through the RAS filter.


Personalisation is a powerful tool in marketing, and its effectiveness is rooted in the RAS. When marketing messages are personalised, they are more likely to align with the individual’s current goals and interests, thus catching the attention of the RAS. For instance, personalised email campaigns that address recipients by their name and offer products based on their past behaviour can significantly increase engagement rates.

Emotional Engagement

The RAS is highly influenced by emotional stimuli. Messages that evoke strong emotions are more likely to be noticed and remembered. Marketers can use storytelling, vivid imagery, and emotional triggers to engage the RAS. A well-crafted story that resonates emotionally with the audience can create a lasting impact and drive brand loyalty.

Repetition and Consistency

The RAS also responds well to repeated stimuli. Consistent branding and repeated exposure to key messages can help reinforce the importance of the message in the minds of the audience. This is why consistent branding across all marketing channels is essential. Repetition helps embed the brand in the audience’s subconscious, making it more likely to be recalled when a need arises.

Strategies for Leveraging the RAS in Marketing

Understanding the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and its role in filtering sensory information is just the first step. The real power lies in applying this knowledge to your marketing strategies. By aligning your marketing efforts with the principles of the RAS, you can create compelling messages that capture attention, resonate with your audience, and drive action. Here are some practical strategies to leverage the RAS in your marketing campaigns:

Define Clear Goals

Clearly define the goals and objectives of your marketing campaign. The RAS is more likely to notice information that aligns with a well-defined purpose. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or building customer loyalty, having a clear goal will help tailor your marketing efforts to catch the attention of the RAS.

A great tool to use for defining goals are OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) reports. OKRs is a framework that helps a business define its goals, as well as a way to measure them. It’s made up of two components: Objectives, which are specific and clearly defined goals, and Key Results, which is how the goal’s progress is measured or monitored.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience’s beliefs, desires, and pain points is crucial. Conduct thorough market research to gain insights into what matters most to your target audience. This knowledge will help create content that resonates with them, making it more likely to be filtered through the RAS.

Craft Compelling Messages

Develop marketing messages that are compelling, relevant, and emotionally engaging. Use storytelling techniques to create a connection with your audience. Highlight the benefits and solutions your product or service offers, and how it aligns with the audience’s goals and values.

Utilise Multi-Sensory Marketing

Engage multiple senses to enhance the impact of your marketing messages. Visuals, sounds, and even tactile elements can all play a role in capturing the attention of the RAS. For example, video marketing can combine visual and auditory stimuli to create a more immersive experience.

A really great way to incorporate multi-sensory experiences to market your brand is to put together a robust public relations campaign that includes live activations and media drops that includes a sensory experience that consumers and audiences will remember.

Consistency and Repetition

Ensure consistency in your branding and messaging across all channels. Repetition helps reinforce your message, making it more likely to be noticed and remembered. Use consistent themes, colours, and slogans to create a cohesive brand identity.

Research suggests that a consumer needs to be exposed to a message at least seven times before it sticks. This phenomenon, known as the “Rule of Seven,” highlights the importance of repeated exposure in embedding a message in the audience’s mind. Each repetition reinforces the message, increasing the likelihood that it will be remembered and acted upon.


Tailor your marketing efforts to the individual preferences of your audience. Use data analytics to understand customer behaviour and preferences, and deliver personalised content that speaks directly to them. Personalisation can significantly increase the likelihood of your message being noticed by the RAS.

Working with a professional team of consumer analysts or growth hacking specialists, like WritersHand Studios can help you extrapolate deep data to help you understand your audience a lot better. This way you can target audiences and position the right products, services or brand messages in the right way.

Emotional Appeals

Incorporate emotional triggers in your marketing campaigns. Use stories, testimonials, and case studies that evoke emotions such as happiness, trust, or empathy. Emotional engagement can leave a lasting impression on your audience and increase brand loyalty.

By implementing these strategies, you can harness the power of the RAS to optimise your marketing efforts and achieve better results.

Real-World Examples

Nike’s “Just Do It” Campaign:

Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” campaign is a prime example of leveraging the RAS. The slogan is simple, memorable, and emotionally charged. It aligns with the goals and desires of their target audience—athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The consistent use of this slogan across all marketing channels has reinforced the brand’s message and made it synonymous with motivation and success.

Coca-Cola’s Personalised Bottles:

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which featured personalised bottles with popular names, tapped into the RAS by making the product feel more personal and relevant. Consumers were more likely to notice and purchase bottles with their own names or the names of friends and family, driving sales and brand engagement.

Amazon’s Recommendation Engine:

Amazon uses data analytics to personalise the shopping experience for each customer. By analysing past purchases and browsing behaviour, Amazon’s recommendation engine suggests products that are likely to be of interest to the customer. This personalisation increases the chances of catching the attention of the RAS and driving sales.


The Reticular Activating System is a powerful tool that marketers can leverage to optimise their sales and marketing strategies. By understanding how the RAS brain’s functions work and tailoring marketing efforts to align with the audience’s goals, desires, and emotions, businesses can create compelling and effective campaigns that stand out in a crowded marketplace. Personalisation, emotional engagement, consistency, and repetition are key strategies for capturing the attention of the RAS and driving successful marketing outcomes. By harnessing the power of the RAS, businesses can ensure their messages are not only seen but also remembered and acted upon, leading to increased brand loyalty and sales.

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