Category : AMCP News

Neuromarketing, Or How to Hack a Brain

Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages a day urging them to buy a product, change loyalties, or for vote for a candidate. Billboards peer down from the sky. Ads stare from magazine pages. Banners flash from web pages.  Commercials blare from televisions and radios. To break through this jumble, advertisers are increasingly pressed to hone a better message that will reach their core consumers and influence opinions. And, they think they found it with a technique called neuromarketing.

Neuromarketing is not that new, but in recent years it’s found new converts. The question facing marketing gurus is whether neuromarketing is the promise of the future or just another trend (whatever happened to subliminal advertising anyway).
 
Neuromarketing first showed potential in a Pepsi versus Coke challenge in 2003.  Neuroscientist Read Montague placed his subjects in an MRI and watched brain responses while they tasted the colas.  Without knowing what they were drinking, half preferred Pepsi.  But, once they were told which samples were Coke, three-fourths said that the Coke tasted better.
 
Simply mentioning Coke not only changed the subjects’ verbal responses, but also lit up their brains. Montague concluded that years of Coke’s advertising campaigns planted positive images in the brain that overrode the subjects’ taste buds.

Since then, the science of neuromarketing has evolved.  Researchers are now using MRI’s and skullcap EEG scanners to peer into the deep subconscious, measuring responses to a client’s products and messages in real time.  

A neuromarketing firm in Berkley, California is taking the research a step further.  At Neuro Focus, volunteers are plugged into EEG skullcaps and eye tracking devices. The tandem devices enable researchers to correlate eye movement with brain activity.  

A. K. Pradeep is the founder of NeuroFocus. He recently told a Frontline web producer, “We are able to measure attention, emotion and memory.”  “We basically compute the deep subconscious response to stimuli.” Add all those electrical patterns together, says Dr. Pradeep, and “you find it represents the whispers of the brain.”

Once research data is crunched, new commercials and campaigns can be crafted.  Researchers are pushing forward hoping to discover a magic button in the brain…the “buy button”.

Movie studios, television shows, car companies, and food giants are now hacking into consumers’ brains.  Sometimes the findings are surprising. Frito-Lay discovered that consumers actually liked that yellow, sticky mess that Cheetos leaves behind on the fingers (sort of a guilty subconscious pleasure).  So what advertisers initially thought was a product drawback actually is a new marketing angle.

While some marketing groups swear by neuromarketing, others aren’t so sure.  Ray Poynter is a social-media consultant in England.  Poynter says neuromarketing is more hype than science. He told fastcompany.com that, “Neuromarketers are over claiming massively.” “While it is likely to reduce the number of bad mistakes, and slightly increase the chance of good things happening, it’s all a matter of degree.”

Paul Root Wolpe is a bioethicists and director at the Emory Center for Ethics. He calls neuromarketing “iffy technology.  He was recently quoted as saying, “The idea is that somehow neuromarketing is going to be so much more powerful that, like zombies, we are all going to go out and buy soap…that is just not realistic in terms of the way the brain works.”

Despite the naysayers, neuromarketing is booming. Companies with new products to sell and old products to repackage are searching for next Holy Grail of advertising, looking for a new way to break through the marketing clutter.  

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And the Winner is …

It’s all about the commercials.  Watching Super Bowl Ads is becoming as big as the event itself.  It’s must see TV that lowers American productivity while increasing water cooler talk for at least a week.   ​This year’s Super Bowl between the triumphant Giants and the Patriots drew more 111.3 million viewers for a new […]

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Podcast with Platinum Winner AngelVision

Impact Movies Eleven years ago, AngelVision broke tradition and began creating visual messages for corporate clients without using a camera, video, a host, or a talking head. Using ‘flash’, the company utilized pictures, images, graphics, and text to tell and deliver a story in a very new way. The company named their concept “Impact Movies”. […]

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All New AMCP Blog!

The AMCP Blog is currently undergoing a site re-design equipped with all new interactive features, such as Marketing & Communication videos, industry links, new technology info, and more.  

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AMCP’s Marcom, Ava and Hermes Creative Award Trophies to Make Cameo Appearance in Paramount’s Morning Glory

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals’ (AMCP’s) Hermes Creative, Marcom and Ava Award trophies are going Hollywood. The trophies symbolizing these awards that represent excellence in marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, emerging technologies and video production will make a cameo appearance in a scene from Pramount Pictures’ Morning Glory, a comedic glimpse of the […]

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Congratulations to AMCP Executive Director Ed Dalheim for Being Named YMCA of Arlington’ s 2009 Volunteer of the Year

Ed Dalheim, Executive Director for Arlington-based Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), has been named the Volunteer of the Year for 2009 by the YMCA of Arlington, Texas  (http://www.ymca-arlington.org/). This marks the 2nd time in three years that Mr. Dalheim has received the prestigious award, which recognizes strong volunteer commitment and dedication to the […]

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AMCP Invites You to Enjoy the “Greener Side” of Life

We hope that you enjoy the new Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) blog theme, Greener Side. This visual enhancement provides a refreshing backdrop for our posts and your comments. The outdoors-oriented theme, a pastoral setting featuring fresh cut grass, lush greenery and free, fluttering butterflies, also underscores AMCP’s commitment to environmental and corporate […]

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AMCP Advisory Board Member Gail Cooksey’s Strategic Communications Firm Wins Award

Please join us in extending special congratulations to AMCP Advisory Board member Gail Cooksey, whose strategic communications consulting firm Cooksey Communications (www.cookseypr.com) of Irving, Texas has earned a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious “Small Business of the Year” competition. Mrs. Cooksey, accompanied by husband Robert Cooksey and company representatives […]

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