Companies such as Google, CBS, and Frito-Lay amongst others have used neuromarketing research services to measureconsumer thoughts on their advertisements or products.
The word "neuromarketing" was coined by Ale Smidts in 2002.
The neuromarketing concept
The neuromarketing concept was developed by psychologists at Harvard University in 1990. The technology is based on a model whereby the major thinking part of human activity (over 90%), including emotion, takes place in the subconscious area that isbelow the levels of controlled awareness. For this reason, the perception technologists of the market are very tempted to learn the techniques of effective manipulation of the subconscious brain activity. The main reason is to inspire the desired reaction in person’s perception as deeply as possible.
Main article: Meme
The base of neuromarketing is “meme” (by Richard Dawkins - a unit ofcultural information similar to gene). Meme is a unit of information stored in the brain. These units are effective at influencing a person who is making choices and decisions within 2.6 seconds. If “meme” is chosen properly we remember the good, joke or song and would share it. “Memes stay in memory and they are affected by marketers”.
Examples of memes: Aromas of fresh bread, sweets,grandmother's pie; Characters in fairy tales, melodies that cannot be out of head. Thus neuromarketers examine people (brain scan, revealing subconscious motives) and manipulate them.
See also: Gerald Zaltman
Best-known technology of neuromarketing was developed in the late 1990s by Harvard professor Jerry Zaltmen (Gerald Zaltman), once it was patented under the name of Zaltman Metaphor ElicitationTechnique (ZMET). The essence of ZMET reduces to exploring the human unconscious with specially selected sets of images that cause a positive emotional response and activate hidden images, metaphors stimulating the purchase. Graphical collages are constructed on the base of detected images, which lays in the basis for commercials. Marketing Technology ZMET quickly gained popularity among hundreds ofmajor companies-customers including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Nestle, Procter & Gamble.
Coke vs. Pepsi
In a study from the group of Read Montague published in 2004 in Neuron, 67 people had their brains scanned while being given the "Pepsi Challenge", a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Half the subjects chose Pepsi, since Pepsi tended to produce a stronger response than Cokein their brain's ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region thought to process feelings of reward. But when the subjects were told they were drinking Coke three-quarters said that Coke tasted better. Their brain activity had also changed. The lateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that scientists say governs high-level cognitive powers, and the hippocampus, an area related to memory, werenow being used, indicating that the consumers were thinking about Coke and relating it to memories and other impressions. The results demonstrated that Pepsi should have half the market share, but in reality consumers are buying Coke for reasons related less to their taste preferences and more to their experience with the Coke brand.
Some consumer advocate organizations, such...