Underhand Tactics: Neuromarketing

Benoit Bringer

France 2012, 52 min.

More and more companies are turning to neuromarketing. This controversial practice involves studying consumers’ brains, analyzing how and why we respond to certain stimuli, in order to influence our decisions. It’s based on the idea that 90% of the decisions we make are taken at a subconscious level. One company that has used neuromarketing is McDonald’s. They developed a perfume which was subtly diffused in restaurants to increase brand association and boost sales. Proctor & Gamble also tried a similar trick. Sales of Ariel washing powder increased by 70% after an artificial perfume was placed under the lid. 

bigger-better-faster-more-brain-doping
Bigger better faster more brain doping

What is it about commercials that makes it so hard to let go of them? As media consumers we have seen many things and it takes a lot to surprise us or blow us away with a print or audiovisual commercial. We have gotten so used to commercials that we don’t pay any attention to them any longer. Or at least so we think. Rationally we don’t want anything to do with commercials. Perhaps we even hate them. We hate them when they interfere in the middle of the film we’re watching on TV. And we hate the long commercial run in theatres before the motion picture is screened. But even though we hate commercials, they are still around. And in great numbers. Why? Probably because despite our hatred of them, they still work.

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