About Persuade the Lizard

About The Site

PersuadeTheLizard is a site dedicated to rating advertisements on how well they persuade. Each ad is accompanied by a review explaining the rating.

Persuasion isn’t something that depends on facts or a reasoned argument. Science has discovered that, no matter how it feels, rationality and consciousness are not in charge of our decisions. Our non-conscious mental system, the lizard inside, makes most of our decisions and is influential in all. Persuasion depends on dealing with the lizard and speaking its language.

Each ad’s rating and review describe how well it persuades the lizard.

You are invited to search for ads by medium and topic, say whether you think the ad is persuasive, leave a comment, and submit ads you would like to have rated.

About the Lizard

Consciousness is not central to our decisions. Though it feels central, consciousness usually takes a back seat. The non-conscious mind is in charge and this fact turns the conventional wisdom of persuasion on its head. Though persuasion is often defined as “convincing by means of reasoned argument,” that’s not how it works.

Our non-conscious mental system, which makes most decisions and influences all of them, has roots in ancient brain structures we share with reptiles. The non-conscious mental system has been called the lizard inside.

Thanks to the lizard inside we can walk, talk, make sense of the input of our senses, develop likes and dislikes, choose friends, and fall in love. The lizard is smart and intuitive. It is the us we are when we aren’t thinking about it. The lizard acts without conscious deliberation, instantly, effortlessly, and can’t be turned off.

To succeed at persuasion, we have to deal with the lizard.

About Jim

Jim Crimmins has learned the secrets of persuasion through a lifetime of fascination with the science of why people do what they do and a career influencing how people choose. Jim worked as a professional persuader for 27 years with the international marketing communications firm of DDB, ultimately as Worldwide Brand Planning Director and Chief Strategic Officer of DDB Chicago. Jim helped Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s, State Farm, General Mills, Frito-Lay and many others influence what people choose and led a team that won 44 EFFIES. EFFIES are the American Marketing Association Award for proven marketing effectiveness.

Jim has taught marketing communication with the Department of Integrated Marketing Communication at Northwestern University. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters in Statistics from the University of Chicago and has published several times.