We all know them. The commercials around that time of the year, when the days are short and it’s cold outside. When we have dinner with all of our family, are overloaded with presents and we feel the love (except for your mother in law, maybe). I’m talking about Christmas.
An advertisement has a lot of components you need to think about: size, placement, the tone of voice, the logo, the photo, the offer and much more. It’s mind-boggling. And yet, most advertisements are created on nothing more than a gut feeling, with no scientific background whatsoever. And alas, the effectiveness of an advertisement is mostly measured on their overall click through ratio (CTR). Thus, we don’t really know which components of the advertisement are working well, and which ones need improvement.
Wow. Just wow.
Let me share two experiments that have changed my view on the power of brain imaging forever.
Can your brain predict who will be the next Lady Gaga?
Which brand of cola would you rather drink: Pepsi Cola or Mila Cola? My guess is that you’d prefer to quench your thirst with Pepsi Cola. How appealing is Pepsi? You’ve probably never even heard of Mila Cola. In fact, I made that brand up.
Now let’s take a step back in time and imagine a choice between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. How appealing is Pepsi now? Chances are the appeal of the brand took a dive when the choice context changed.
Ouch. Last week taught me a painful lesson in humility. I learned I was just using half the power of a persuasion principle I was convinced I’d mastered perfectly: social proof.
Social proof works. Period. No question about it.