Can subliminal advertising influence behavior?

November 12, 2008 4:05:26 PM PST
Can subliminal advertising really influence our behavior?

About today's topic:
Does sex sell? What do religion and ritual have in common with successful advertising? Can subliminal advertising really influence our behavior? What effect, if any do health warnings on cigarette packs have on the consumer? We now know the answers thanks to a major scientific study whose surprising findings are revealed in BUYOLOGY, a book which Dr. Mehmet Oz says is "written like a fast paced detective novel" and is hailed as "a fascinating journey inside the consumer brain" by Ori Brafman, bestselling author of Sway.

To find out how our unconscious minds influence how we buy, Martin Lindstrom, one of today's foremost marketing experts, partnered with researchers from Oxford University and launched the single largest neuro-marketing study ever conducted-25 times larger than any such study to date. In a three-year effort costing more than seven million dollars and using two of the most advanced, cutting-edge neuro-imaging technologies available today-the fMRI and SST-scientists scanned the brains of over 2,000 people from all over the world as they were exposed to various marketing and advertising strategies including product placements, subliminal messaging, iconic brand logos, health and safety warnings, and provocative product packaging.

For decades, advertisers, marketers, and consumers alike have held a set of common assumptions about what drives us to buy. Turns out, most of these were dead wrong. His startling results will shatter much of what we have long believed. Some of the many topics Lindstrom explores include:

  • Neuromarketing and Politics: Despite widespread cries that political advertising emphasize "optimism," "hope" and "building up, not tearing down," fear works more effectively because fear is what the brain remembers. By playing to the fear of nuclear war, LBJ's "Daisy" commercial helped him to victory in 1964. Forty years later, history repeated itself when George Bush ran for re-election by hammering the fear of terrorism into voters' heads. (Chapter 1)

  • Faith Religion and Brands: What connection, if any, exists between religion and our buying behavior? Are there similarities between the way our brains respond to religious and spiritual symbols, and the way they react to products or brands? Could certain products inspire the same sense of devotion and loyalty in us, as provoked by faith or religion? Just ask the people that wait in line overnight at the Apple store anytime a new product is launched. (Chapter 6)

  • Ritual, Superstition and Why We Buy: Do you have a fear of the number 13? Do you always drink your Corona with a wedge of lime, or eat the filling of your Oreo cookie first? Turns out many of the rituals we habitually perform in our daily lives were actually manufactured by companies and marketers to draw us to their brands and products. (Chapter 5) ask the tobacco companies now that they can no longer advertise on billboards and on television. (Chapters 1 & 4)

  • Selling Our Senses: Does your heart rate increase when you see one of those signature robin-egg blue Tiffany boxes? Or maybe you feel your pulse race when you inhale the scent of your new car? Or what about that feeling of comfort when you smell a box or crayons? Other senses such as smell, touch and sound are so powerful they can actually arouse us when we encounter a product. (Chapter 8)

    More than just a wake-up call to advertisers and marketers, BUYOLOGY will captivate anyone who has ever been swayed by a commercial or won over by an ad. Through well-known brands such as Tiffany, Apple, Marlboro, American Idol, Corona and more, Lindstrom is able to explain his brain scan findings to reveal what is really going on in our minds when we see or think about a product.

    For more information and videos visit www.martinlindstrom.com .

  • Subliminal Advertising, Alive and Well: In 1957 subliminal advertising was banned, but you might be surprised that subliminal messages still surround us and strongly influence our behavior. Just ask the tobacco companies now that they can no longer advertise on billboards and on television. (Chapters 1 & 4)

  • Selling Our Senses: Does your heart rate increase when you see one of those signature robin-egg blue Tiffany boxes? Or maybe you feel your pulse race when you inhale the scent of your new car? Or what about that feeling of comfort when you smell a box or crayons? Other senses such as smell, touch and sound are so powerful they can actually arouse us when we encounter a product. (Chapter 8)

    Featured guest:

    MARTIN LINDSTROM is one of the world's most respected marketing experts. With a global audience of over a million people, Lindstrom spends 300 days on the road every year, advising top executives of companies including McDonald's Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company and GlaxoSmithKline. He has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Fast Company, and more. His previous book, BRANDsense, was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five best marketing books ever published.

    Buy the book on Amazon: Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy


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