Alternative marketing thinking


When The Brain Did A Blink. The Science Of Neuromarketing.

Did you hear that? Your brain just did a blink. It had a ‘cognitive jolt’, as a neuroscientist would say. With the newsletter in Greek, we violated your expectation, didn’t we?

Why Greek, you may ask. Well we know very few of you read through the newsletter anyway so even if it is in Greek or Russian, how does it matter? But for the few who have come this far lets get to the point.

It’s all about neuroscience, or neuromarketing, more sharply. With the proliferation of technologies that can peer into our brains real-time, marketers are now capable of understanding, in much greater depth, how people will react to ads, packaging and other marketing messages.

Recent breakthrough in brain science is helping companies to actually see what goes on inside our minds. In this video from TED Christopher deCharms shows you how new technology is able to reconstruct what our brains feel, in seconds as opposed to weeks and months, just a few years ago. Teams of academic and corporate neuromarketers have begun to hook people up to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG) machines to map how their neurons respond to products and pitches.

Your double-take on opening the newsletter would have shown up on these machines telling researchers that there is a probability that the approach will have connected with a larger number of readers and created a lot more conversation.

One of the companies that is putting neuromarketing to test is EmSense Corporation. Recently they wired up the brains of some 200 volunteers as they tried to test some Cannes and Effie award winning work. The study looked at Apple’s Mac Vs PC ads and Nike’s I Feel Pretty commercial featuring Maria Sharapova.

Fifteen of the 19 Cannes and Effie winners engaged consumers faster than average spots, said Elissa Moses, chief analytics officer at EmSense. “Typically, a spot engages with viewers in 5 to 7 seconds. The Cannes and Effie ads engaged, whether emotionally or cognitively, in 1.5 seconds.”

Coke became a client of EmSense late last year to help it decide which two TV ads to place in the Super Bowl. (It was the first time the company used brainwave and biometric data to help select and edit its Super Bowl ads.) In the weeks leading up to the game, the Coke’s agency Wieden & Kennedy produced about a dozen new ads for possible placement. The Coke marketing team was counting on EmSense to help it make the right choices.

The EmSense device, shaped like a thin, plastic headband, reads brain waves and monitors the breathing, heart rate, blinking and skin temperatures of consumers who preview ads to measure their emotional and cognitive responses.

According to Katie Bayne, CMO of Coca-Cola North America, the device not only helped whittle down the list of spots, but also aided in editing the two ads chosen to air — “It’s Mine,” and the “Jinx” ad. For example, she says, the music in “It’s Mine” was adjusted in the days leading up to the game to build in more of a crescendo than in the original version of the spot.

With neuromarketing, marketers, researchers and agencies are walking a thin line between what’s legal and how deep we can go into our minds and predict outcomes for purchase. The Russian bit is just a trick to see how just a tiny bit of the unexpected can dramatically change the outcomes of an execution.


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One thought on “When The Brain Did A Blink. The Science Of Neuromarketing.

  1. there go the days of ‘gut feeling’, ‘trial & error’ and ‘to err is human’.
    and the poor creatives’ lives get more and more screwed. weren’t the tough CD, the idiotic servicing, the usless planners, the confusing researchers and whimsical clients not enough!!! now we have to deal with psychotics!!!
    lets just hope, the creative and the neroscientists cut out a good deal and all the others are negated…

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