Passion Communications

Neuromarketing: Increase Your Ad Strength

Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. This definition is a fancy way of saying “using proven methods can increase the strength of your marketing techniques.” Large companies primarily forge the neuromarketing path with fat marketing research budgets. (Some neuromarketing leaders you may recognize are Proctor and Gamble, Google, and Frito-Lay.) If you are a smaller business or agency, it’s likely that you don’t have the time or resources to devote to neuroscience. But the good news is– you can piggy back off of others’ findings. Below are three examples of groundbreaking neuromarketing findings that you can begin incorporating into your marketing and advertising today.

1. Visuals to the Left

Your left brain is better at processing verbal and analytical information. Also regarded as the digital brain, it handles reading, writing, and computations. The right side of the brain is more creative, and is theorized to be responsible for imagination, holistic thinking, art and rhythm, etc. (Healthline) These halves of your brain are linked to the opposite corresponding eyes. So your left brain is linked to your right eye and vice versa. In terms of marketing, this means that you should format your ads to appeal to the different vision fields on the brain. (David) Hence, you’re going to want appealing images on the left and information on the right. (Before you ask, this tool is not affected by the direction in which cultures read. David’s research discusses that if you would like to learn more.)

Let us use marketing examples from Dove Beauty.

There are two advertisements above. The first uses imagery on the left hand side (which appeals to your right brain), and places the words on the right side (to appeal to your left brain). The second advertisement contains similar content, but conveys it in the opposite order. The research findings on how human eyes process information dictates that the first image will perform better, and make your brand stronger.

2. Confusing Choosing

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Do you recognize this excerpt from the famous Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken?” Many believe this poem to be about taking a more difficult path to their goal destination, and being more successful because of it. In reality, this poem is about how the speaker’s choice to travel the more difficult between the two roads made no difference in the speaker’s life. The choice only brought him stress. Had there only been one path, he would have taken it without having to think or second guess himself. Then his life would have gone on just the same. Now, depending on who you are, your feelings about this concept will vary drastically. But why?

Alt="Neuromarketing Choices"

Research conducted by Sheena Iyengar sheds light on what choice means to different types of people. She explains that Americans view the right to choose as natural right. However, in other countries, choosing can be a trying action that people would rather avoid. Unlike Americans, they trust in others to make the best choices for them. For example, citizens in countries recently liberated from communism find that choice is overwhelming. Older citizens who rarely exercised their right to choose do not have the skills to, are often times not even able to recognize the difference between similar options.

So what does this mean for your marketing? Depending on which region you are attempting to sell a product or service in, the way you present options should vary. For example, in America, the Coca Cola freestyle machine is very popular. It’s one fountain drink that provides users with 100+ choices of different drinks, and Americans love it. However, Iyengar found that this would overwhelm countries in eastern Europe, who view different flavors of soda as only one choice– “soda.” Study the cultures of the countries you are attempting to sell to. Make sure that you present choices to them in a way they are comfortable with.

3. Convince Them with Color

Satyenda Singh conducted research for the University of Winnipeg about color’s impact on marketing. She said “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone. So, prudent use of colors can contribute not only to differentiating products from competitors, but also to influencing moods and feelings – positively or negatively – and therefore, to attitude towards certain products.” (Singh) She found you can use color from everything to increasing peoples’ appetite (with red, which excites the metabolism) to reducing their perception of waiting time:

Note that in her research, Singh writes that colors do not mean the same thing to everyone in all parts of the world. Hence, if you are looking to utilize neuromarketing to choose a color for your brand, campaign, etc., you should research what colors mean to the country you are working in. There are also other factors that come into play, such as race and gender.

If you’re looking for an example of strategic color use, look no farther than Passion Communications, our creative agency branding. The orange color that makes up the foundation of our brand image was inspired by the color of Tibetan Buddhist Monk robes. Separated, orange is the combination of red and yellow. In Buddhist culture, red represents life, while yellow represents a symbol of rootedness and the equanimity of the earth.”

Alt="Monk Robes"

Where to now?

Above are three free ways your company can exercise neuromarketing. However, if it is in your budget to do some neromarketing of your own, you’ll want to check this website out. Imotions simplifies biometric research by “providing software, hardware, and services to leading academic and commercial clients worldwide.” You can purchase their services (such as their eye tracking or facial analysis tools) and directly test them on your content. You’ll discover what’s working, as well as where there is room for improvement. This is the best way to find out if you are maximizing the power of your advertising content.

Researchers have been using neuromarketing to discover marketing tactics for years. But due to technology improvements, the field will become exponentially more exciting and useful. Don’t let the science aspect of the research method intimidate you. Rather, stay up to date with recent findings, and use them to improve your marketing and branding skills. Feel free to comment, subscribe, and check out this article if you’d like to read more about marketing tactics. 


Written By Victoria Kline