Neuromarketing, Fact or Fiction

By: Marcus Storm MKTG420

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold presented one topic that I found especially interesting, neuromarketing. The concept behind neuromarketing is that by studying how our brains react to advertising messages, marketers can detect the stimuli that induce the greatest consumer response. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but studies have proven that it is possible. Carefully crafted advertisements can to a certain extent, make us want things that we would otherwise ignore.

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In reality, we have always been influenced by some types of neuromarketing. The smell of a bakery for example, can cause consumers to crave bread or cakes. This fact is well known and bakers tend to bake during breakfast or lunch hours in order to capitalize on hungry customers’ weakness for the smell of baked goods. The idea is that we already have these “wants” present in our subconscious and outside influences can make consumers realize and ultimately, act on these desires.

I feel that this quote from the video above summarizes the concept of neuromarketing very well, “to view consumers’ pre-conscious neural patterns, get into their thoughts and beliefs which even they don’t consciously know, and ultimately tap into their reptilian brain.” They were referring to the fact that by using this technology, marketers are getting close to being able to create the exact consumer reaction that they are aiming for by eliminating the “guess work” involved in advertising.

Through the use of MRI and EEG machines, marketing is becoming more of a science than a technique. Marketers are actually able to see how our brains are reacting to their attempts to influence our thought patterns. Neuromarketing is still not an exact science, but the prospect of having our minds manipulated without our knowledge can be a bit unnerving.

The development of new technology and techniques has pushed the concept of neuromarketing to new heights. As this progression continues, questions have begun to arise and the main concern is often a question of ethics. Is it really okay for marketers to manipulate our thoughts? The answer varies depending upon who you ask. I feel that the answer to this question is not too far off; I personally think that we will begin to see government action and more in depth studies on this concept in the near future. Till then, we can enjoy advertisements that are specifically tailored to the desires of our subconscious!