Beer and Mind Control

Extra Cold Mind Reader
We know that beer affects our brain, at least if we drink enough, but a novel promotion by a South African beer company turns the tables: it lets drinkers control beer with their brain. The thirsty consumer simply dons an EEG headset (no messy gel required for this one), thinks about cold beer, and the golden liquid flows into a glass. Here’s a video showing how it works:

Digital agency Hellocomputer dreamed up the gimmick, and claims,

EEG CalibrationThe Extra Cold Mind Reader utilises an EEG headset which records brain waves along the scalp by measuring the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time. The device is set to detect conscious thought, emotion and facial expression allowing the user to control their experience.

By measuring the user’s concentration levels over a period of time, we were able to trigger a draught pour; the more the user could focus on Extra Cold, the more draught was poured.

The Extra Cold Mind Reader was built by South African firm Thingking. The company is apparently no stranger to biometric feedback devices, having built a vending machine that, on hot days, will disgorge cans of Lipton Tea if a person’s skin temperature is high enough.

What is the Extra Cold headset really measuring? Who knows or cares? It’s an attention-getting gimmick that draws attention to the brand and gets thirsty drinkers to try Castle Lite beer.

Whatever the scientific reality of these devices may be, they make people laugh (in a good way) and form positive associations with the brand.


This post was written by:

— who has written 984 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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3 responses to "Beer and Mind Control" — Your Turn


Sam Hewitt 25. August 2013 at 1:32 pm

Hahaha. That is so random and cool at the same time. I do know what you mean by the sticky gel, when I had my brain scanned I went home looking like I just had a bad day at the hairdressers :/


Doug Wack 26. August 2013 at 2:55 pm

Ha, that’s great! I know quite a few guys who would love this!


Devin Bisanz 18. February 2014 at 8:39 pm

I would love this.


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2 responses to "Beer and Mind Control" — Your Turn