Trendspotting: Your Brain on Marketing

Posted on October 21, 2011 by Angie Argabrite

The Brave Neuro World

Can the latest in brain imaging reveal much about why and how we buy?

“Neuromarketing” is a topic of interest to marketers the world over (if you don’t believe us, check out the multilingual Google News results). This burgeoning field continues to stir debate—a recent New York Times op-ed on the subject inspired an impassioned response from a group of 45 neuroscientists from seven countries, challenging the claim that consumers are feeling something like romantic love when they look at a product. The problem, say the researchers, is that the parts of the brain lighting up in the studies are active for many more emotions than love. But regardless of any brouhaha, neuromarketing is a tool that companies are turning to on an increasing basis. Media heavyweight Time Inc. even engaged a neuromarketing firm to conduct a study on brain activity of the “digital native.” The results—expected to be released in 2012—reportedly confirm what many have long suspected: The multitasking ways of this new gen has resulted in brains that are wired differently than their predecessors’. Sorry, but did we really need a massive research project to tell us that?

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