Neuromarketing : The Basics. It’s only business. We are exposed to over 2 million ads during our lifetimes
Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, works by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity – when a brain area is more active it consumes more oxygen and to meet this increased demand blood flow increases to the active area. FMRI can be used to produce activation maps showing which parts of the brain are involved in a particular mental process.
• It is non-intrusive, and entirely passive
• Its temporal resolution enables causal
connections between continuous stimuli and responses
• It is scientifically robust
• It is fast
• It is low cost
• Consumers like it
• Recordings can be obtained in a naturalistic environment
Starting in 2004, Martin Lindstrom and Oxford University researchers began a $7 million study of more than 2,000 people. They studied brain activity when exposed to product placement, subliminal messages, brand logos, health and safety warnings, and provocative product packaging. Presented in his book, Buy-ology, Lindstrom argues that almost 90% of customer purchasing is driven by unconscious processing
Book Brief (6:36”)
Heat mapping shows where the eyes are repeatedly drawn
Gaze plots shows the order of eye fixations to better identify search patterns
So, what’s the big deal?
The brain’s pleasure circuit
When a reward is anticipated or received a signal is sent to the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) that activates and releases dopamine to the nucleus accumbens, septum, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex.
When people are exposed to a stimulus (product, message, etc.,) the brain reacts spontaneously, usually outside our conscious awareness, and reflects our attentional and emotional predisposition
Nucleus accumbens: part of the dopamine pleasure circuit involved in reward anticipation
Knutson, B., Rick, S., Wimmer, G. E., Prelec, D., & Loewenstein, G. (2007). Neural predictors of purchases. Neuron, 53(1), 147-156.
In 2007 Sprint advertised a “special deal” for new customers. While this may have been attractive to new users, it angered and alienated their current loyal customers.
Paying $99 dollars rather than $250 set off the brain’s reward circuit for new customers, but conversely activated the pain circuits!
(or, “you’re fine, how do I feel”)
Paul Slovik at the University of Oregon studied the emotional basis of donations
Animal Allies Ad
Pepsi sensory branding ad
Bush “rats” ad against Gore
Top 10 Negative Political Ads (video clips)
Facial coding in presidential campaigns (2:53”)
Brain worms and sticky music: “I just can’t get you outta my mind”
Chili’s (Baby Back Ribs)
Who Let the Dogs Out?
We Will Rock You
Kit-Kat bar jingle
Mission Impossible Theme
Whomp, There It Is
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
It’s a Small World After All
Head on revised
As expected, after viewing ads, Ss were more responsive to their preferred candidate, and less to the other. Also paid less attention to the “other” after viewing negative ads
Negative ads also subtlely diminished their responsiveness to their preferred candidate as well
With all these adverse ad campaigns, why have global consumers continued to smoke over 5.7 trillion cigarettes annually?
However, the unbranded images (e.g. cowboy) activated more cravings among smokers than the branded images (e.g. cigarette packs).
The brain scans revealed increased brain activity when exposed to cigarette packs as well as the Western imagery in a small region of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which controls pleasures and addictions.
When people aren’t consciously aware they are being exposed to advertising message, they let their guard down.
Cigarette warnings, no matter how gruesome, actually stimulated the nucleus accumbens (“Craving spot”)
In 2004 P. Read Montague of Baylor College of Medicine conducted a fMRI on 67 people repeating the Coke Pepsi Blind Taste Test.
Popular Design Book
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1996 Hermitage Jaboulet La Chapelle. “92-point rating from Wine Advocate, Finest La Chapelle since 1990, only 8,100 cases made”
1998 Cotes du Rhone. “Received 86 points from Wine Spectator, flavor of red berry, mocha, and black chocolate; medium bodied, medium intensity, nicely balanced red”
1 lb box Belgian Chocolates by Neuhaus
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Once people are willing to pay a certain price for one product, their willingness to pay for other items in the same category is judged relative to the first price (anchor) (e.g., pay more for keyboard than trackball).
Ariely, D. (2008) Predictably irrational. Harper Collins, New York.
The brain knows before you do
Task: Choose a card to win game money. Decks vary in payoff: some pay constant low reward, while others pay high but also have large penalty.
The Frequency-Validity Effect
(Brown & Nix, 1996)
Stop Neuromarketing! (7:34”)
Review of the conference