The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
One thing you didn’t hear from any of this years Oscar winners: "I'd like to thank my neuroscience partners who helped us enhance the film's script, characters, and scenes."
You could hear it at the next Oscar’s though.
A sizable number of neuromarketing companies already brain test movie trailers for the major studios through fMRI, EEG, galvanic skin response, eye-tracking and other biometric approaches. For now, the test data helps the studios and distributors better market the movie.
But what about using brain feedback to help make the movie?
A trailblazing few firms and studios have delved into the upstart practice of "neurocinema," the method of using neurofeedback to help moviemakers vet and refine film elements such as scripts, characters, plots, scenes, and effects. Princeton University psychology professor Uri Hasson coined the term "neurocinematics" based on an fMRI study, in which he concluded that certain types of films (e.g. horror, action, sci-fi) produced high activation scores in the amygdala region of viewer subjects' brains, the part that controls disgust, anger, lust, and fear. Hasson asserted that horror filmmakers can potentially control audiences' brains by precisely editing films to maximize amygdalic excitement and thus "control for" buzz and success at the theater.
Stephen Susco, who wrote the $187 million grossing horror movie Grudge, is not a practitioner of neurocinema. However, he sees its growth as part of the "natural evolution of major studios trying to maximize profit while making the early creative development, script and storytelling process more scientific as opposed to just based on experience and instinct."
Other filmmakers seem divided.Read More
Ever wondered people still keep puffing away despite the fact that we’re better informed about the dangers of smoking than ever before? And despite the fact that there are no ads around? And despite the fact that you can’t consider smoking inside but instead have to relegate yourself to a corner with nothing but a seedy over-filled ashtray for company? I wondered why smoking remained so prevalent, given all these discouraging factors. My intrigue helped inspire part of the world’s largest neuromarketing study ever undertaken. Project Buyology scanned the brains of smokers as they were exposed to all the stuff we thought should be encouraging them to quit smoking. Like dire health warnings on the cigarette packs and those nastily graphic anti-smoking commercials. The shocking revelation from this part of the study was that, as you will have noticed yourself, the health warnings and anti-smoking messages have no effect at all in helping people give up the habit. Even more astounding is the finding that these health warnings and other ostensibly discouraging messages have the opposite effect entirely. Instead of helping people to quit smoking, they in fact encourage them to smoke even more. At least, this is what the most sophisticated brain scanning now tells us.
Ever wondered people still keep puffing away despite the fact that we’re better informed about the dangers of smoking than ever before? And despite the fact that there are no ads around? And despite the fact that you can’t consider smoking inside but instead have to relegate yourself to a corner with nothing but a seedy over-filled ashtray for company?
I wondered why smoking remained so prevalent, given all these discouraging factors. My intrigue helped inspire part of the world’s largest neuromarketing study ever undertaken. Project Buyology scanned the brains of smokers as they were exposed to all the stuff we thought should be encouraging them to quit smoking. Like dire health warnings on the cigarette packs and those nastily graphic anti-smoking commercials.
The shocking revelation from this part of the study was that, as you will have noticed yourself, the health warnings and anti-smoking messages have no effect at all in helping people give up the habit. Even more astounding is the finding that these health warnings and other ostensibly discouraging messages have the opposite effect entirely. Instead of helping people to quit smoking, they in fact encourage them to smoke even more. At least, this is what the most sophisticated brain scanning now tells us.
As a cognitive anthropologist, who some 20 years ago traded backpack and quinine for Dramamine and a Hartmann three-suitor, I consult with marketers to assess the base beliefs and longings of various publics.
My method is to talk to people as people, not consumers. In that way, I learn about how they transform the world into their world. The twists of paradox, compartmentalization and irony are always exquisitely on display.
By-passing Langauage- Straight to the Brain
Recently, a client asked me to work with a company that is using brain wave activity, or measures of blood flow in the brain, to assess central nervous system response to certain advertisements and products. The idea being to bypass consumers' language and rational thought in the name of metrics, and its lookalike, objectivity.
What I discovered was that no matter how good the scientists were at designing stimuli and reading fMRI results, the very best they could do for our client was to warn them what to eliminate from their ads. The advice garnered from peering under the consumer's skull could only suggest what NOT to do. Unfortunately, the data from their procedure could not help us to determine what TO DO to enhance an advertisement's effectiveness.Read More
Suddenly, you see it everywhere – in airports, hotels, restaurants, and of course, in most public bathrooms. It’s on sale in corner kiosks, wedged conspicuously between the gum and People magazine. And in a blink, it’s been seamlessly integrated into life as an essential everyday item. Just five years ago, the product never existed anywhere, and yet if you were to conduct a straw poll, most would confide that they simply couldn’t live without it.
I’m not talking about the iPod or the Blackberry, or even your favourite pair of Crocs – I’m talking about antibacterial hand gel – the kind you can squirt whenever you feel the need to cleanse. From what I see around me, a lot of people seem to be feeling pretty dirty these days.
It’s a phenomenon prompted by bird flu and swine flu. Ironically, neither virus can be prevented by sanitary wipes or cleansing gels, since both are spread through minute droplets sneezed or coughed out by someone who’s infected. But the thought of contagious diseases that have the capacity to kill has driven us into a sanitation spin.
A while back I conducted an experiment on NBC’s ‘Today’ show. It involved scanning a woman named Kelly’s brain as she walked down the supermarket aisle. The objective was to study her thought patterns as she made a selection from the thousands of products on offer. Supermarket executives closely monitored the large screens displaying Kelly’s brain activity as she engaged in her choices. They were thrilled with her selection of brands, and applauded her decision-making processes.Read More
As neuroscience opens the brain to marketers’ scrutiny, the electrical flashes that arise in response to stimuli make it increasingly apparent that what drives purchase decision making is actually a primal mechanism of the mind-attachment. This signal of a potent emotional attachment is the foundation for brand success. It’s a form of primal brand magic, built on a near-mythical brand story that unconsciously transports one from the mundane to the imaginational, transforming our inner world and inspiring us to buy.
A brand experience has the potential to actually transform our brain chemistry. The experience of a product/service and its messaging, can be transformational in a sensory way and emotionally. More importantly, at the end of a satisfying product experience, our feelings have been transformed into a strong emotional attachment (magical/mystical bond) that endures until proven otherwise.
Fostering magical brand connections is particularly important in this “new normal” era of consumer frugality because an emotional connection creates consumers loyalty. But how can CMOs begin the quest for the magic brand grail. These three keys will unlock the doors to begin the journey.
1. Understand the “right brain” of your category.
“Brand Marketers always have a deep understanding of their category’s “left brain” – the numbers and functional benefits. The “right brain” attributes often are unexplored. What visual, sensorial and emotional benefits can your brand deliver and own – that work together with your product’s attributes – to create an unbreakable bond that turns your consumers into brand enthusiasts? This can start with highly projective techniques like portrait building, present and future brand scenarios, and story creation with all of the internal teams that have a stake in the brand: marketing, design, R&D, senior management and your various agencies.
2. Understand the sensorial and emotional palette of your audience.
A lot of research is still left brain, Q&A focused. To unveil the magic in your brand, using highly right brained projective techniques – like image sorts, drawing and writing – can get at the more elusive sensorial and emotional attributes that are important to YOUR consumer and relevant, meaningful and inspiring in YOUR category. A great example is the method brand, which disrupted the established home cleaning market with a “detox your home” message and a visual position that brought that message to life using simple, clean, highly sensorial shapes and colors that intrigue, inspire and motivate one to buy.
3. Create a Visual Position.
Brand positions are often created in words, though people experience brands primarily visually. BUT…a brand’s packaging, advertising and overall presence in the world starts with visual symbolism, not words. And unlike our pets at home, who have heightened senses of smell and hearing, humans are primarily sight driven. 70% of our sense receptors are in our eyes and 80% of what we learn about the world comes to us visually…yet most brands do not have a visual position that brings the written positioning and story to life.
Visual positioning defines the symbolic territory a brand can occupy to create distinction and often includes: overall personality, color and texture palettes, movement (upward like Gillette Mach3 or explosive and outward like Gillette Fusion), energy and other qualities that will unleash your brand’s magic.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Cheryl Swanson, Toniq
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning WorkshopRead More