Saturday, February 5, 2011

301: Neuromarketing...good or evil

Justine Meaux, research director of BrightHouse Neurostrategies Group, a division of BrightHouse, said neuromarketing helps companies understand customers' true desires better than the standard marketing approach, focus groups.

"A lot of what motivates our behavior occurs below the level of conscious awareness," said Meaux, a neuroscientist. "We give [companies] insight into how to develop relationships with consumers."

The Atlanta consulting firm BrightHouse has stirred up some controversy in 2004 when neuromarketing was born. Peeking in the brain to control the consumer…….it scared people.

- quote
"It's wrong to use medical technology for marketing and not for healing," said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, a Portland, Oregon -based nonprofit organization that has worked to bar advertising from schools and other public areas.

"We have epidemics of obesity, diabetes, alcoholism, gambling and smoking -- all tied to marketing. Any increase in the effectiveness of advertising can be devastating to the public."
-end quote [from]

Neuromarkting seems to be effective. The standard procedure of marketing is to have a test group to evaluate a new product.

For a certain product the test group in the US said "Yeah , great product!" . Brain scans in the UK showed that the product didn't appeal to the consumer. The product was put on the market in the US and it became a major flop.

Gemma Calvert, director of UK-based Neurosense, has also demonstrated that the context in which an advertisement message is shown, is crucial for the message.

By observing the response of the brain areas that control emotions she could see how the perception of the message was more or less effective.

A campaign for the Red Cross, shown in a commercial break in an episode of South Park is downright harmful for the way the individual brain in front of the screen looks at the message.

The idea behind neuromarketing is that we get access to information about the consumer and his drives, which information can not be presented voluntarily by the consumer,

simply because he himself has no access to that information. And here I refer to the example of the product release I mentioned earlier in this lecture.

In 2004 neuromarketing methods were used to measure how Republicans and Democrates responded to propaganda material.

It was revealed that brains of Democrats were more annoyed by messages about danger and threats than Republican brains. Democrates reacted stronger on messages about using power than Republicans.

Some people find neuromarketing creepy, but Read Montague, the man of the Pepsi test, answers, that neuromarketing, in fact the research on decision-making and communication, won't turn us into "mega-shopping zombies".

On the contrary, it creates insight in why we buy things, why we love shopping and how we can influence people with messages, also cultural ones.

But just listen to Jonathan Moreno, president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Virginia.

- quote
"It kind of distorts the marketplace relationship," Moreno said. "There's supposed to be a level playing field between a buyer and a seller.

But [with neuromarketing], there isn't an opportunity for the consumer to create a screen against the information. It violates the notion that it's possible for the buyer to beware."
- end quote

So the question is: neuromarketing….is it good or evil…?

The Discussion

[13:21] Qwark Allen: have both sides it seems
[13:21] herman Bergson: Thank you....
[13:22] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): is is my opinion that is the public is educated about neuro marketing and aware of it we will be ok and it wont work as well
[13:22] Mick Nerido: It seems it helps us get what we really want but might not know it
[13:23] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:23] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): maybe nick
[13:23] Qwark Allen: l ☺ ☻ ☺ l
[13:23] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:23] herman Bergson: Looks like it Mick ^_^
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: yep
[13:23] Qwark Allen: that wasn`t very reassuring
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: in some ways at least
[13:23] Mick Nerido: Why?
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: however as i said before I buy only the stuff i know I really ant and that is good
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): might not be what we really need just what we want
[13:24] Florimell Farstrider: Seems like there's a very strong drive with marketing in general to get past our inhibitions, to break them down..
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: I dont buy cheap crap that empty my wallet and have a quality that is just a blyff to what the commercial say
[13:25] Clerisse Beeswing: Gosh! Think of the tobacco companys getting some kind of neuromarketing going on..scary
[13:25] Mick Nerido: A company should not waste money making things no one really wants
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Flori.....the neuro -approach does so
[13:25] herman Bergson: No Mick indeed....that is one of the arguments in favor of neuromarketing
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): don't you think they haven't clarisse???
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: if someone want me to buy a product it better be as good and useful as they say
[13:26] Clerisse Beeswing: Yeah mass advertisement day and night..your right gemma
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well another argument is...
[13:26] Florimell Farstrider: What this will do to us, if successful, is undermine our social interactions. It's antisocial to not have inhibitions.
[13:26] herman Bergson: that when you know how the brain responds to advertisements
[13:27] herman Bergson: You can take measures to block some ...
[13:27] herman Bergson: Like now liquor and tabacco advertisements are forbidden on TV in the Netherlands
[13:28] herman Bergson: You don't need neuromarketing to know how we respond to tobacco and alcohol tho ^_^
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: well tobacco is here - doesn't seem to help
[13:28] Qwark Allen: at a long time in portugal
[13:28] Mick Nerido: We are not talking advertising but more effective focus groups
[13:29] herman Bergson: well I gave the example of the credit card ad....
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: was shopping today and there they often let people try out stuff when they have some new tasty thing and then i can check for myself if I like the stuff
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: that a good thing
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: and If i like it I buy it
[13:29] Clerisse Beeswing: if it taste good..why not
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: The more philosophical point in all this is free will....
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: don't know what the stuff is called in english
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ill check
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: that is bought today
[13:30] Mick Nerido: If a product is harmful like tobacco it should be banned from ads
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: aaa true
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: eew tobacco not my thing
[13:30] herman Bergson: When they peek into our brain and manipulate messages....are we free consumers?
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: but a nice rum or whiskey is lice as long u dont drink too much
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): it is not always products... it is also ideas
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: thats nice things
[13:31] Mick Nerido: I think yes, we still have free will
[13:31] Clerisse Beeswing: no we are not free..we are like slaves
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: that too
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes in 2004 in the Clinton campaign
[13:31] Florimell Farstrider: were we ever free consumers? =)
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: think so too gemma
[13:32] herman Bergson: Well Flori...Free will will be an issue in coming lectures
[13:32] Mick Nerido: We can be manipulated but we can also learn to stop it
[13:32] herman Bergson: Some neuroscientists already claim that we have no free will
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes Mick...that is exactly what they say.....
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: aaa now i found the word
[13:33] herman Bergson: The better insight in how our brain opperates the better we can deal with it
[13:33] Clerisse Beeswing: What took over our free will? Our learned experiences
[13:33] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): exactly my point before
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: what i bought was a potato pancake mix, in swedish we call it "raggmunk"
[13:33] herman Bergson: No Clerisse....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Research has shown...
[13:33] Florimell Farstrider: We're probably free to the extent that we don't know what compels us...
[13:34] Mick Nerido: True
[13:34] herman Bergson: that when you say NOW I gone raise my hand...
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] herman Bergson: half a second before you showed this conscious act of saying so
[13:34] herman Bergson: the brain had already set all in motion....
[13:34] Mick Nerido: Too wierd
[13:34] herman Bergson: motor neurons etc.
[13:34] Clerisse Beeswing: hmm so its so deep
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes...
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: interesting for sure
[13:35] herman Bergson: I'll spend some lectures on this subject definitely
[13:35] herman Bergson: It is very weird....
[13:35] Mick Nerido: free will an illusion of the mind?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes...Mick....
[13:35] Clerisse Beeswing: wow never thought that
[13:36] herman Bergson: What we call our consciousness is just a babblebox ..telling stories afterwards ^_^ they say
[13:36] Mick Nerido: than what is making us do what we do?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well....there are several answers to that Mick..... long story..
[13:36] herman Bergson: good for a few lectures ^_^
[13:37] Mick Nerido: It all happens so fast in our mins who can tell
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes...and this thing with neuromarketing....
[13:37] herman Bergson: When you see an ad you have the feeling thta you can say NO....
[13:38] herman Bergson: But brainscans just SHOW what you gonna say...if you simplify ithe situation...
[13:38] Mick Nerido: I know that feeling,lol
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:38] herman Bergson: Your brain does the job….and is beyond your control
[13:39] Mick Nerido: We need a droid to filter stuff for us
[13:39] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: heheh
[13:39] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:39] Florimell Farstrider: I think it was Freud who first did experiments with this. Hed use hypnotic suggestion to make people do something specific and absurd on cue after the trance. Then he'd ask them why they did it. They always rationalised their behavior, or tried to. they never sad 'I have Noooooo! idea why I just did tat.'
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: Who does the programming for it?
[13:40] Qwark Allen: is there anyone with some kind of control?
[13:40] Mick Nerido: Nice point
[13:40] Qwark Allen: are there laws about it?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes it is a situation like that Flori
[13:40] herman Bergson: Interesting question Ciska...who does the programming....
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): but there is a rational answe for that we never do what we think is wrong under hypnosis
[13:40] Qwark Allen: seems the ones that should do the regulamention, are the ones that ude it most
[13:41] herman Bergson: An important part is done by evolution...
[13:41] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): and those people trusted their doctor!
[13:41] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): shame on him
[13:41] Qwark Allen: use*
[13:41] herman Bergson: then our education
[13:41] herman Bergson: and then outr genetic heritage
[13:42] herman Bergson: Well...I hope you still experience yourself as free minds ^_^
[13:42] Qwark Allen: l ☺ ☻ ☺ l
[13:42] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:42] herman Bergson: So think about it...
[13:42] Clerisse Beeswing: to speak..yes
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: well I still do anyway
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: hahah
[13:42] herman Bergson: And thank you for your participation...:-)
[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:42] Qwark Allen: i wonder to what i`m susceptable
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:42] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:42] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:43] Clerisse Beeswing: Wow! Thank you professor
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: Thank You Herman :)
[13:43] Mick Nerido: Free , thanks
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: great once again
[13:43] Qwark Allen: very interesting and a opening of the mind
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:43] herman Bergson: My pleasure Clerisse
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): see you thursday i think
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: bye everyone - have a great day/ evening
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: son
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: cu soon
[13:44] herman Bergson: Have fun everyone ^_^
[13:45] herman Bergson: The class looks great with the new design of the seats
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: good work
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:46] herman Bergson: thank you Bejiita :-)
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ok cu soon

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