Take This Pill, It'll Make You Feel So Much Better? | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Take This Pill, It’ll Make You

Feel So Much Better?

As a child of cable television and pop culture (born 1971), most of my early knowledge of the world around me came from watching movies and television, and to a lesser extent, books. I mean, I certainly didn’t learn much from those Encyclopedia Britannica's my parents stuffed in the closet. They were excellent for writing papers on the Kangaroo from Australia or the Medieval period, because, well, the Internet didn’t exist!

I remember learning about space and the stars when I was six-years-old when I saw a movie called Star Wars - A New Hope. Should a six-year-old really have gone to see that movie at 10pm at night at the mall with the neighbor? Probably not, but hey, it was the 70’s. We didn’t helicopter parent back then, and it was amazing, both the movie and the time.

At that age I didn’t know what science fiction was. I mean, I didn’t really think Star Wars was real, but I had never really experienced something like that. And it moved me. It made me want to know more. It made me want to think bigger. It expanded my view.

Then came Indiana Jones who also taught me to dream big, and also gave me insight into how big the rest of the world was outside of suburban Cleveland Ohio. The 80’s didn’t offer much in terms of quality movies but I will say that I can still watch Police Academy and laugh my butt off from crude jokes. There were also some great nude scenes in the movie and what can I tell you, I was in eight grade. Good stuff man.

Fast forward to 2011. I watched a movie called Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper. The plot goes as follows. “With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.”

The movie was good, not The Godfather good, but good. I didn’t really care for the violent parts because that’s not my thing. What I loved was the concept of being able to take a pill and become smarter and then accomplish amazing things. Like perhaps, write an amazing book that changes people’s lives. Or develop a cure for a disease. I didn’t like the plot line in the movie where he used his new brain power to get rich, but I get it, that’s what most people would do and it made for a better movie probably.

So here is the question I have for you today, and I’m looking for an honest answer. 

If you could take a pill that gave you 100 times the brain power you have now, what would you do with that knowledge?

If your answer is, “I would use my brain power to become a billionaire Jim,” then I won’t judge you for that, I promise. If you have another answer, I’d love to hear that too. Finish reading this then text me your answer.

But before you do that, let’s talk about how this could eventually become a reality, and more importantly, why does this kind of stuff work on us?

This is a real product. It’s a supplement called QUALIA that is sold by a company called NEUROHACKER Collective. I found out about this through and article on Scientific American

QUALIA is a supplement that is designed to target the whole system and bring about "radical cognitive enhancement.” It’s all based on something called Nootropics. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Nootropics.

Nootropics (/no?.??tr?p?ks/ noh-?-TROP-iks) (colloquial: smart drugs and cognitive enhancers) are drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. While many substances are purported to improve cognition, research is at a preliminary stage as of 2020, and the effects of the majority of these agents are not fully determined.

The use of cognition-enhancing drugs by healthy individuals in the absence of a medical indication spans numerous controversial issues, including the ethics and fairness of their use, concerns over adverse effects, and the diversion of prescription drugs for nonmedical uses, among others. Nonetheless, the international sales of cognition-enhancing supplements has continued to grow over time, exceeding US$1 billion in 2015.

Yep, this kind of stuff is a BILLION plus business, every year. 

From the article, about QUALIA…

I tried it. Personally speaking (and of course I can't speak for the experiences of others), when I took it, I felt as though I could focus for a longer stretch of time, hold more in my working memory, and connect lots of dots at once. Also, my thoughts felt as though they were flowing faster, there was a lifting of my brain fog, and my anxiety was basically non-existent for the entire day.

Let’s not get into the debate over whether Nootropics and the products that NUEROHACKER makes. This is not science like real cures for diseases or anything. These are supplements. Buyer beware. I must admit I do take a supplement. It’s pure bee pollen and I’ve been taking it for ten years. I don’t know what it really does for me, but I’ve convinced my brain it makes me feel better and give me energy. My point is I’m quite possibly just as much as a fool as the person who takes something like QUALIA. 

So yeah, let’s instead talk about the concept of the term radical cognitive enhancement, because that is far more interesting don’t you think? In 2012 The Atlantic published a piece called “Why Cognitive Enhancement Is in Your Future”. 

Cognitive Enhancers are not new to our society. Caffeine and nicotine are largely accepted as legitimate ways to help us be more focused, stay awake and be more productive. But meditation, yoga and a good night's sleep are also things we could do to enhance our performance. So it’s not just drugs and manufactured supplements is my point.

There are other ways too. The guy selling adderall out of the pizza shop on campus can probably hook you up and that will “cognitively enhance” you to write that term paper overnight. You “cognitively enhance” yourself every day when you drink a pot of coffee. So most of us do it in one way or another.

The question is, why do we feel the need for this type of thing in our lives? 

We all know why. Because at the core of our soul we all want to be better. Live better. Feel better. Be happier. Be healthier… and so on. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So we reach for something to help us get there, and that’s where the billion dollar business comes in… 

Because it’s much easier to take a pill than actually do the work to be better. And that is the core issue that created this marketplace.

When you really think about it, a lot of the greatest marketing and products and services come down to this one core message. “We make it easy for you.” I remember working at a convention about twenty-years ago and I was able to meet and spend the day with the late, great Billy Mays (RIP). My boss produced Billy’s commercials so that’s why I was there. Billy was a pioneer of late-night infomercials. He was quite probably the greatest television salesperson that has ever existed selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products.

During a break in the action when the crowd has disappeared to lunch, as I was standing next to Billy I asked him, “Billy, what’s the secret to all this? Why are you so successful?” Graciously, he pulled me aside privately and demonstrated the secret. There was a bowl of water on the table. He took one of his products, I forget what it was called, like a Shamwow or something. (For reference a Shamwow is an absorbent towel.) He dipped the Shamwow in the bowl of water, lifted it out and said, “Jim, watch my face as I squeeze the water out of this.”

He proceeded to give me a line from the commercial while he rung out the Shamwow. When he was finished, he said “Did you watch my face? That’s the secret. Never show effort.” He was right, when he rung it out he purposely did not contort a muscle on his face. It looked like he was squeezing warm butter. Zero effort.

Mind blown. In that moment Billy told me everything I ever needed to know about marketing in 30-seconds. And that is…

Easy Sells.

So that’s why supplements work. That’s why products like my bee pollen and QUALIA work and produce billions of dollars in profits. 

And that is why we all wish we had a pill to make us better.


So let’s get back to the original question. 

If you could take a pill that gave you 100 times the brain power you have now, what would you do with that knowledge?

Text me now. (216) 236-8294


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