Saturday, February 26, 2005

Searching for the Why of Buy

I know this isn't music related, but the evolution of marketing is one of my current favorite topics....so if you have the time and are so inclined, there's an interesting article over at the LA Times about neuromarketing...using technology to track the brains responses to products.

Searching for the Why of Buy

In part of the article, they discuss a recent Pepsi/Coke taste test, while the taster was hooked up to an MRI machine:

Each swallowed sips of cola from a tube in a series of carefully calculated variations on the classic taste test. Each sip was preceded by a picture of a distinctively labeled red or blue cola can. Montague and his colleagues varied the order of the sodas, the labels and the timing of the sequence.

The volunteers had no preference when the drinks were offered unlabeled, the researchers discovered. But they overwhelmingly preferred Coke whenever that brand was displayed β€” no matter what cola was actually delivered through the sip tubes.

When the researchers analyzed the brain scans, they discovered that the Coke label appeared to activate a memory region called the hippocampus, along with structures in the midbrain known to compute the likelihood of rewards.

A brain region linked to the sense of self β€” the ventral putamen and the medial prefrontal cortex β€” also lighted up.

The Pepsi label prompted no such response.

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