How Skillful Advertisers Can Word-Jack Your Brain

How Skillful Advertisers Can Word-Jack Your Brain

It’s long been established that the mighty brain is nothing but a mound of putty. We don’t see what we think we do, we don’t remember what we think we do, and we don’t like what we think we do. If we did, advertisers would be out of business. As it is, they’re literally putting false thoughts inside our heads.

Two marketing professors got together to see if their diabolical studies could implant someone with memories with no more than an ad. They found out that they could.

The test was a simple one. Two groups of people would read out a description of a brand of popcorn. Each group got one of two cards. The first group would get a card that had an elaborate description of the popcorn. The second group got a more perfunctory description.

After the two groups had read about the popped delights that awaited them, some of those people would then get to eat the popcorn. Some of them would not. Most readers would have liked to be in the first group, but as it turned out, which group they were in wouldn’t really matter as long as they got the more descriptive card. Those who got the brief description sometimes believed, a week later, that they had actually sampled the popcorn, even if they hadn’t. Those who got the full description without the taste test, though, were just as likely to report that they’d eaten the popcorn as those who actually had. The right words, then, are just as likely to make someone believe they experienced something as the real experience.

How Skillful Advertisers Can Word-Jack Your Brain

Lots of us have listened to commercials and gotten a sense of the taste of the product they’re advertising. Especially if the commercial uses the phrase, “rich, creamery butter”. The ‘taste’ might last a little longer than commercial. If advertisers can get people to ‘remember’ eating foods they’ve never tried, they can create old, familiar comfort food, or sudden nostalgic food cravings, out of thin air.

I’m going to eat some butter, now.

[via JSTOR]