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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Morphological Neuromarketing

In today's New York Times, an interesting case study on a Neuromarketing method used by US snack goods manufacturer Frito-Lay, which used the morphology (structure and size) differences between women's and men's brains to change their chip packaging and marketing to appeal to women. Includes a video of their marketing. Different than the sensor biometric methods usually emphasized when discussing neuromarketing. A women's marketing expert makes the point that this is 'less insulting' than the usual approach of making a package pink. Specifics of testing unclear.

" ... Juniper Park used neuromarketing in a slightly different way. Ms. Nykoliation began by researching how women’s brains compared with men’s, so the firm could adjust the marketing accordingly. Her research suggested that the communication center in women’s brains was more developed, leading her to infer that women could process ads with more complexity and more pieces of information.

A memory and emotional center, the hippocampus, was proportionally larger in women, so Ms. Nykoliation concluded that women would look for characters they could empathize with.

And research Ms. Nykoliation read linked the anterior cingulate cortex, which processes decision-making and was larger in women, to feelings of guilt. (Experts differ on how directly functions or feelings are associated with various parts of the brain.) Ms. Nykoliation then asked NeuroFocus to review her assumptions and, as Juniper Park developed ads, to test the ads to verify that women liked them ... "
A number of aspects of this research and application makes me skeptical of it being predictive.

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