We see it everyday whether we want it or not ; commercials, health and other warnings on products around us. Marketing is probably one of the areas that are most researched and where unbeliavable amounts of money go, everyone wants to sell most and get most of the global cake. We all have a certain understanding of how things work but there is a lot more to it. In US alone over 600 billion dollars are being used yearly on marketing, that is over $2000 per person.

Did you know that the tobacco industry speculate on the warning-labels on cigarette and tobacco-packs? The warning labels trigger something in a smoker’s brain and what people thought would help people quit smoking does the opposite! That kind of explains why the tobacco-industry don’t mind at all putting the warning-labels on their products. Though it seem to have a wanted effect ; it helps non-smokers decide not to start smoking.

In 2005 Martin Lindstrøm launched a project called Buyology which lasted 3 years. During this time they used the latest technology to reveal consumer behaviour by scanning brains on 2000 individuals. Lead by Lindstrøm and a panel of scientists based in Oxford several companies are part of the project, Coca Cola, American Express, Samsung, Apple, Nike, Sony, Ford, Louis Vuitton and several others. According to the outcome of the project most of the 600 billion dollars spent on marketing is a waste of money and out of track.

With neuromarketing they will test what will work and not before launching the advertising, marketing experts say that this project supplies businesses with a deeper understanding of the largely unconscious forces that shape consumer reactions.

Lindstrøm’s book were released yesterday and on his site where he presents the chapters. There he mention James Vicary’s experiment were an image of a coca-cola and popcorn were displayed in 1/3000th of a second on a cinema and people rushed to buy. Isn’t that claimed to be a fabricated story?

That makes me wonder if Lindstrøm is in the same class as Vicary but it confuses me that so many large companies and scientists take part of this project, whats up with this? Will we see a change in advertising after this study becomes aknowledged within marketing? Is it going to help them to hide advertising more? I mean, if I look at a commercial without knowing it is one – will it become more powerful?

Exciting stuff…

Øyvind Lasse Høysæter

Born in 1971, fell in love with computing in 1983 because of Sinclair's masterpieces. Continued on the magic surrounding the C64, Amiga and moved to the PC world in 1990. Loves science fiction, programming, astronomy, my family and my job. (developer) :)

3 Responses

  1. fragileheart says:

    Wow that’s pretty scary stuff! I know I usually pay more attention to something if I think its for a TV show rather than someone trying to sell me something. That is of course assuming that its actually a well done ad.

    Its almost like manipulating us and I think its wrong – because its going one step beyond and controlling us beyond our free will. Not very nice!!

    Anyway, I’ve tagged you Atrais. I hope you can play along 🙂 I want to know more about you!

  2. Jonathan Salem Baskin says:

    Scary stuff indeed, but really important to explore and understand. There are biological inputs and controls for behavior, and we’ve know this for many centuries. Mind emerges from brain, so the theory goes, and I happen to believe it, mostly.

    But the challenge is linking those flashes of neural events to events in the outside world…behavior is what matters to business, ultimately, not preference, intent, or any other expression of thought.

    So we can look at and even remember one commercial over another, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to buy the stuff advertised (at least not in any way more than a broad preference, but we’ve know that awareness is better than non-awareness for many, many years).

    There’s another approach to envisioning brand that I’ve written about in my book, Branding Only Works on Cattle: brand as the set of actions that companies and consumers take in the complex dance of inquiry, transaction, and support. If companies look at their brands as the moments of interaction, and the levers of real-life actions that prompt them, they possess the tools to map and measure marketing delivery.

    I’ve made my chapter on brand measurement available on my website for download for a limited time:

  3. “With neuromarketing they will test what will work and not before launching the advertising, marketing experts say that this project supplies businesses with a deeper understanding of the largely unconscious forces that shape consumer reactions.”

    TV, Radio, Internet, Newspapers, etc are a part of this big manipulation. Most of the people don’t even realize how are their decisions influenced by what they read/watch/see/pay attention to. Specialists in neuromarketing play with numbers (price of products), colors, words, NLP etc.

    This is scary indeed but it’s the reality.
    C’est la vie 🙂 !

    Sorry I messed up a little bit with the first comment. Hope you can see the difference and delete the first one. I really appreciate that!

    Charlie Rotario’s last blog post..What to Expect When You Quit Smoking

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