The latest trends in advertising and marketing use neuroscience, and look beyond influencing our choices to directly affecting our brains at a
physical level. Technology to monitor and alter brain waves dates back to the 1970's. Current research uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
(fMRI) to map the brain's responses to stimuli. In 2001, "The Brighthouse Institute for Institute for Thought Sciences" gave birth to the
BrightHouse Neurostrategies Group, the first neuromarketing company, based in Atlanta. Last week, neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield
the Institute of Direct Marketing how marketing can create new neuronal networks in the brain. Critics say using neuroscience to directly manipulate
the brain is unethical and will be used to control our thinking, and voting too.
...the Institute of Direct Marketing's Annual Lecture was delivered not by a marketing figure but by neuroscientist and author Baroness Susan
Greenfield, ...(who) astutely linked her area of expertise, brain development, with the way technology is rapidly changing the way we gather and
Specifically, she looked at the roots of creativity in the brain, where an abnormally small neuronal network triggers larger ones both in itself and
Her main premise was that we are becoming "People of the Screen" ...and therefore brain development, is driven more and more by (screen)
Researchers scan for insight into how marketing may brand the brain's preference for products and politicians. ...They seek to understand the
cellular sweetness of rewards and the biology of brand consciousness. In the process, they are gleaning hints as to how our synapses might be
manipulated to boost sales, generate fads or even win votes for political candidates.
...a consulting organization called the BrightHouse Neurostrategies Group launched the first neuromarketing company in 2002, promising in a news
release "to unlock the consumer mind." The company, whose clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Home Depot, Hitachi and
Georgia-Pacific, has conducted experiments with neuroscientists at Emory University in an effort to understand product preferences.
Justine Meaux, the company's director of research, said BrightHouse helped businesses apply neuroscience to marketing, brand development and product
Searching for the Why of Buy
Note sidebar: Wired for Voting
Reiman also has changed the name of the division of the company conducting the research to BrightHouse Neurostrategies Group from the original name of
BrightHouse Institute for Thought Sciences.
Nader group slams Emory for brain research
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The technology to play with the brain has existed for decades - what's been missing is a reliable mass media delivery system. Most of the techniques
seem to rely on some kind of calibrated flickering, which was easily lost in airway broadcasts. Digital technology took care of that problem, quite
neatly. Here is an old patent, granted in 1976:
Apparatus and method for remotely monitoring and altering brain waves
Neuro-marketing's goal is to get us to do what corporations want us to do. There is no denying it. The Brighthouse Institute for Thought
explained neuro-marketing's goal to the CBC in 2002.
The Brighthouse Institute for Thought Sciences claims it's closing the gap between business and science - with the goal of getting us
to behave the way corporations want us to.
Beyond the ethics and morality of the basic goal, there are three major problems with neuro-marketing according to Commercial Alert, a watchdog
First, "marketing is deeply implicated in many serious pathologies." Children especially suffer from "an epidemic of marketing-related diseases,
including obesity, type 2 diabetes, alcoholism, and eating disorders." Companies that produce tobacco, alcohol, junk food or fast food - and use
neuro-marketing - could easily damage public health.
Second, neuro-marketing will make political propaganda much more effective. The dangers include manipulating the public to support new totalitarian
regimes, civil strife, wars, genocide and countless deaths.
Third, neuro-marketing will promote degraded values more effectively. Children and teenagers already are bombarded with propaganda to accept
materialism, addiction, violence, gambling, pornography, anti-social behavior, and etc. Says Commercial Alert, "Any increase in the effectiveness in
the marketing of these values and products could impact the character of millions of Americans."
This topic is pretty much made to order for ATS.
What do you think are the dangers of neuro-marketing? What do you think about corporations using neuroscience not just to influence your choices, but
to affect your brain's physical development?
EDIT: It is also important to think about neuro-marketing in the context of the new Bankruptcy Act, and the planned federal sales tax.
New Bankruptcy Law Protects Rich: Squeezes Troops, Everyone Else
US Federal Sales Tax in the Works
The Latest in Consumer Brainwashing - Neuromarketing
Neuromarketing: Straight to the Brain
Playing with Your Mind
The Economist: Inside the Mind of the Consumer
Request for Senate Commerce Committee to Investigate
Neuromarketing and Political Campaigns
[edit on 6-3-2005 by soficrow]