Emoticons and emoji’s seem to be everywhere these days: In text messages from friends, in social media campaigns from major brands and even in e-mails from customer service representatives.
And that makes sense, right? They present an opportunity for companies to connect with their customers in a relatable and creative approach. Besides, according to a global survey conducted by Genesis; 40% of customers claim that the biggest improvement in customer service can be achieved through investing in a “better human service”. So why not use emoticons in customer service interactions in order to make them more human?
What is your association with thinness? Discipline? Beauty? Health? That doesn’t come as a surprise. Advertisers, the movie industry and social media are reinforcing these associations every day, making us believe that being thin is hard work and that everyone can be thin, provided that they have sufficient self-discipline. In Western societies we even see a stereotypical connection between a person’s weight and their economic value, such as success and financial achievement. On the contrary people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to hold a negative body image about themselves and are more likely to be affected by those idealized standards.
Influencing behavior through advertisements, both consciously and unconsciously, but especially the latter, has given neuromarketing a bad reputation. Take James Vicary’s famous subliminal messaging experiment from the 1950s as an example. Vicary claimed that subliminal projections telling ten thousands of people to Drink Coca-Cola and to Eat Popcorn during a movie caused a 18 % sales increase for Coca Cola and 58 % sales increase for popcorn.
Personally, I think the most fascinating thing about neuromarketing is that in this field of science findings are again and again surprising and counterintuitive. A recent study by Andrews, Lou, Fang and Ghose (2015) is another example of this phenomenon. But let’s take a step back first.
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