By now the punditry is almost done debating over the Super Bowl ads. Were the Groupon ads offensive or funny? Were the Doritos ads distasteful in the age of hand sanitizer? Did it really cost only $500 to shoot one ad? Now the real issue is ROI. How do you get them to buy the goods once they’ve seen the ads? From big pharma to banking, software giants to olive growers, politicians to the Weather Channel, all are turning to the science of neuromarketing for answers. Which elements of a movie trailer will grab them by the shirt collar and pull them into the movie theater? Which of three possible covers will translate into a successful magazine launch? Should an olive oil label feature a map of California or an olive grove? Neuromarketers such as Dr. A.K. Pradeep believe their research, including brain scanning, skin sensors, and shopper eye-tracking in grocery stores can help. The olive grove wins.
Some of the research indicates that people respond to stimuli that relate to their interests. Who would have guessed, a mountain biker would respond to ads that feature mountain biking? Headless images and icons are a turnoff. Women prefer photos with two women. Could it be that women are miserable and therefore they love company? Well, it turns out that women may be miserable because they’re left out. Most of the ads are created by men and for men. Meanwhile, women control about a trillion dollars of spending, discretionary and otherwise. Also noted, people over sixty tune out negative messages while teenagers are more emotional than reasonable. Who would have thought? And everywhere there is a human thirst for newness, whether it’s new and different packaging, or a scented ax. Well there is scented AXE.
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