We Know What You Think!

on May 4, 2009

A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting company who have recently won a marketing innovation award, called Neurofocus.

This technology of scanning brain patterns is not new and I recall hearing about it several years ago, based on the interesting results of studying subliminal messages as part of an academic study.

For obvious reasons this is both fascinating and completely scary. Being able to predict what messages will be most effective in creating reactions and response offers huge potential to the advertising, branding and marketing communities (not to say sales). It’s especially intriguing to think about reactions to messages that are not necessarily driven by logical thought patterns but our emotional ones (the ones we have so much trouble controlling that is).

Like all new advances there are two sides to this. In adults one feels this is perhaps somewhat less contentious – we are all free thinking and emotionally stable right? But what about other groups like kids. Groups that are driven far more by emotional reactions and who are less able to adjust for those subtle nuances being produced by brain induced research? Should this technology be banned in it’s application to those groups and who’s going to police it (I should state here and now that I am not a fan of deliberate advertising and targeting to anyone under the age of 16).I have absolutely no faith in our industry to self regulate.

Like I say fascinating stuff and without doubt open to producing some spectacular results when applied correctly to the industry in which we operate. However just as the original research showed, use of subliminal content and brain reactions need to be carefully managed before things get out of hand.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

2 Responses

  1. Dan Ortega says:

    Neurological measurement per se can be a bit Orwellian, but it doesn’t really reach it’s full potential unless it can be applied to large groups of consumers. This particular technology requires being hooked up to a machine, so it’s widespread application is somewhat limited, unless someone out there is trying to figure out how to extrapolate that information to a broader audience. Bhwaah ha ha!

  2. Dick Reed says:

    Dan you are correct however if subcategories of consumers (say beer drinkers, smokers, children) can be identified as having key triggers then this will increase the power of messages to reside deep in the brain of the target.

    You are right though that technology to accurately target small groups of consumers is the missing link here.

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