Even for a simple counting task, pointing at the things we count makes it easier. But once again the question arises: how is it that simply pointing at things helps us count?
When viewers weren’t allowed to point, they nearly always nodded as they counted. What’s more, non-pointers who nodded were significantly more accurate than non-nodders. It’s beginning to look like the body movements themselves are somehow assisting in the counting process.
Could it be that the physical movement works like an abacus, actually totting up or simply that the extra movement provide a deeper processing. Other research has found that the more modalities involved in memorizing the more successful it might be.
To keep its reputation alive as an “idea factory,” four years ago the agency came up with the concept of creating the Müllers’ living room. Using mountains of statistical data, survey results, opinion polls, sales figures, together with home interviews with 20 real families, they built the average German living room, complete with the most popular German wallpaper, indoor plants and knickknacks on the sideboard. Jung von Matt’s creative and strategic teams now use the space for meetings. It gives them the sense that they are talking shop in the middle of the average German life, while gazing at the walls of the average German living room.
Anyone entering the room has the eerie sense that its occupants have left it only moments earlier, perhaps to make a sandwich in the kitchen or walk down to the basement to put the laundry in the dryer. But there is no kitchen or basement.
The room is updated periodically to conform to the latest trends and news headlines. Trainees at Jung von Matt double as “living room attendants.” Their job includes making sure that the TV program guide is always opened to the correct page, the plants are kept watered and the books on the shelves are current. “Moppel-Ich,” a bestselling diet book, was added in recent years (for Sabine Müller), along with the latest installments of the Harry Potter series, a book on the pleasures of quitting smoking, a smattering of popular self-help books and the latest bestsellers, next to a travel guide for the Mediterranean tourist haven of Mallorca — a little light reading for husband Thomas.
Average Germans Thomas and Sabine like to paint their walls yellow and decorate them with pictures of family and animals. A small collection of stuffed animals lined up on the back of the sofa provides the necessary dose of coziness.
Knowing all of these intimate details is as important to advertising agencies as it is to the companies that are their clients — because the average German rules the country’s economy, determining what is purchased and what is produced. Political parties are also keenly interested in finding out what Thomas and Sabine Müller are thinking and what they want out of life. Politicians want to be there for the Müllers, or at least create the impression that they identify with the typical German voter. Everything about their politics is geared toward the average voter at the political center, even though the center is gradually shrinking. And anyone in the media who fails to take note of what the average German likes to listen to, read and watch is doomed to fail.
Now, for me, this would make an interesting reality show where what you would be watching is a constantly updated statistical average. It would let you see where and how far you deviate from the norm and for those who care, it would be a way of making sure they stay on track. The downside is that if it became popular it might actually accentuate the means and further homogenize the population.
The house pictured above is the Simpsons house if it were real (an unfortunate average if it is). Here are a few more from there – from Geekologie