Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

How the Marketers Stole My Brain

We can tell not what are people thinking, but how people are thinking.

"We can give an insight into the mind and emotions of the people a company is trying to communicate with. We can tell not what are people thinking, but how people are thinking."

By Virginia Millen

Emotions play a large part in our purchasing decisions, so marketers are using neurological methods to tailor advertising campaigns that influence our attitudes to brands.

Virginia Millen writes for Swinburne University of Technology’s Venture magazine (www.swinburne.edu.au/magazine).

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

How do you decide which running shoes to buy? Why do you prefer the iPhone over all other smart phones? Why did smokers crave a cigarette after watching an ad designed to turn people off smoking, while non-smokers were disgusted by it? These are the questions advertisers, marketers and market researchers are constantly faced with and Swinburne Neuroscience Professor Richard Silberstein has some of the answers.

Neuromarketing, or consumer neuroscience, is a relatively new area of research that combines neuroscience with market research. It uses brain-measuring technology to find out what consumers really think of advertising.

Until recently, market research companies had access to limited methods to assess the effectiveness of an ad. According to Silberstein, these methods rely on assessment using the right hemisphere of the brain, which focuses on details and specifics, to explain why we did or didn’t like an ad.

“Basically, the current research tools that people are using for market research are good for fact-based ads, but they are no good for advertising that is more creative and emotional, which we are getting more and more of,” he says. “More and more advertising is directed at emotion. People are very poorly aware of their emotional processes and it’s even harder to vocalise or express them.”

Brain-measuring Technology

Research...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.