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Neuromarketers Pick the Brains of Consumers 166

Pickens points out a story at The Guardian about the development of neuromarketing, the method by which advertisers track signals inside the brain to roughly extrapolate how a consumer reacts to products and advertisements. We've discussed this technique in the past, but now consulting firms are appearing who have begun to use this research to increase the effectiveness of their marketing practices. The author also notes a paper which elaborates on the scientific details (PDF). "At McLean Hospital, a prestigious psychiatric institution run by Harvard University, an advertising agency recently sponsored an experiment in which the brains of half-a-dozen young whiskey drinkers were scanned. The goal, according to a report in Business Week, was 'to gauge the emotional power of various images, including college kids drinking cocktails on spring break, twentysomethings with flasks around a campfire, and older guys at a swanky bar'. The results were used to fine-tune an ad campaign for the maker of Jack Daniels."

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN