There are only 24 hours in a day for us to get through our to-do lists. So how do we decide what to prioritize? Lucky for us, our brains use cognitive shortcuts to simplify decisions and cut corners. But here’s the catch: cutting corners has consequences. And when it comes to our brain, cutting corners leads to cognitive biases.
Current Topic: Advertising
Both advertisers and researchers have known for many years that music can tip the scale in an ad’s favor. The well-chosen tune can make all the difference when it comes to people attending towards the ad, developing positive attitudes and associations – and ultimately forking over their hard earned cash to buy the product.
But what exactly constitutes the right music?
Once upon a time, our ancestors would gather around a fire to tell stories, sharing their imaginations and lessons with others. Fast-forward to today and we are still sharing stories, but accompanied by smartphones instead of fires.
Nowadays we are more individualistic than ever. We are encouraged to make our own decisions, live the life in a way that we like. And yet, 72% of ads contain assertive language. Brands tell us what to do quite explicitly - “visit our Facebook page”, “floss daily”, “eat healthy”.
How do people react when brands tell them what to do?
For years, neuromarketeers have been in pursuit of the buy button. This specific neural pattern ought to align perfectly with a rising slope in the sales curve.
Unfortunately, reality is more complex than that. While specific kinds of brain activity are certainly predictive of purchase and preferences (the nucleus accumbens and frontal asymmetry pop up time and again), the ultimate response seems to vary with content and strategy.