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Encyclopedia > Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the brain's responses to marketing stimuli. Researchers use the fMRI to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain and learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Marketing is the collective field of advertising and promotion. ... Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or fMRI) describes the use of MRI to measure hemodynamic signals related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. ...

A study by Read Montague, the director of the Human Neuroimaging Lab, and the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Baylor University, published in the October 14, 2004 issue of Neuron. 67 people had their brains scanned while being given the "Pepsi Challenge", a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Half the subjects choose Pepsi, and Pepsi tended to produce a stronger response than Coke in the brain's ventral putamen, a region thought to process feelings of reward. But when the subjects were told they were drinking Coke three-fourths said that Coke tasted better. Their brain activity had also changed. The medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that scientists say governs high-level cognitive powers was now being used, indicating that the consumers were thinking about Coke and relating it to memories and other impressions. The results demonstrated that Pepsi should have half the market share, but in reality consumers are buying Coke for reasons related less to their taste preferences and more to their experience with the Coke brand. However, it should be noted that Pepsi is sweeter than coke, and thus may do better in taste tests where only a small sample is given. Many people who prefer small amounts of Pepsi would probably rather consume an entire can of Coke to a can of Pepsi because people often grow tired of very sweet flavors. The Pepsi Challenge has been an ongoing marketing promotion run by PepsiCo for the last decade. ... The wave shape (known as the dynamic ribbon device) present on all Coca-Cola cans throughout the world derives from the contour of the original Coca-Cola bottles. ... The current Pepsi logo Pepsi or Pepsi-Cola, is a carbonated cola soft drink manufactured by PepsiCo, and the principal rival of Coca-Cola. ...

Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer's preference, the verbal response given to the question "Do you like this product?" may not always be the true answer. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brains response.

Neuromarketing will tell the marketer what the consumer reacts to. Whether it was the color of the packaging, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not.


  • Frontline PBS
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