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Conversion Lessons from a Busty Bloodsucker

If you were at my SXSW panel, How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers, you already saw the latest proof that sexy imagery can boost sales. Ion Interactive, a firm specializing in online conversion, ran a test for online game-maker Kabam to improve signup rates for a vampire game, Thirst of Night. Take a look at the three images tested: […]

By |March 19th, 2012|

Politics is Simple: Vote for the Tall Guy

Our decisions aren’t always as rational as we think, and choosing a presidential candidate is no exception. Researchers at Texas Tech have found an innate preference for candidates who are more physically imposing. This tendency is considered to be an example of evolutionary psychology, in which modern-day humans still exhibit behaviors developed in our hunter-gatherer days. (Or, simply put, “caveman politics.”) […]

By |October 18th, 2011|

It’s the Product, Stupid

The poll I ran earlier this week in Is Your Brand Evil produced results that, in retrospect, were predictable. Fully half the respondents thought that branding could be used in either good or bad ways. Of the other half, my neuromarketing-oriented readers came down four-to-one on the “good” side of branding. I’m sure if I polled a consumerist population the divide wouldn’t have been so lopsided. (The poll is still open, so the current breakdown may vary.) Many so-called consumerists allege brands exist purely to get consumers to buy stuff they don’t need or pay more for the stuff they do need. […]

By |September 30th, 2011|

Vivid Stories Change Donor Behavior

A vivid story can put us in a more altruistic mode, a study shows. UK researchers looked at the two ways people think about death – abstractly or specifically. They used a detailed story which placed the reader in a burning apartment to activate specific death thoughts. A second group of subjects answered more general questions about death, while a control group was exposed to non-death-related material. They then gave subjects a second item to read, an article about blood donations which came in two versions, suggesting that blood donations were either at record highs or record lows. Finally, all subjects were given the opportunity to express an interest in donating blood. […]

By |September 6th, 2011|

Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ

Stupidity appears to be contagious, and you can catch it from the media you consume. Researcher Markus Appel had college students read a story about a “foolish soccer hooligan” who got drunk, got into fights, etc., or a more neutral story without the dumb behavior. Subsequently, the students were given a general knowledge test. The subjects who read the story about the stupid character scored lower on the test than those who read the neutral story. […]

By |June 20th, 2011|

Rivalry Marketing

Sometimes the best thing for a brand is an enemy: a rival brand that can be the focus of advertising. The other day, Mark Gallagher and Laura Savard at the BlackCoffee blog put the advantage of focusing on a rival succinctly: […]

By |January 6th, 2011|

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Marketing

The comments on "Revealed: How Steve Jobs Turns Customers into Fanatics" show that many Apple fans don't believe marketing has played a role in Apple's success. Other consumers also think they aren't influenced by ads. When a business owner or key executive doesn't believe in marketing, though, it's a different story.

By |September 1st, 2010|

How is Fast Food Like An Attractive Woman?

The simple answer is that, much as viewing images of attractive women made men impatient, looking at logos of fast food restaurants caused an increase in impatient behavior.

Researchers at the University of Toronto found that simply viewing fast food […]

By |August 2nd, 2010|

25-Cent Creativity Booster

Want to boost your creativity by investing a quarter or so? Buy a lightbulb. Not the fancy LED, halogen, or compact fluorescent variety – just the old-fashioned, cheap incandescent kind that come in four-packs for a buck or so. Skeptical? Read on… […]

By |July 23rd, 2010|

Attractive Women Make Men Impatient

I’ve written a few times about the effects of pictures of attractive women on decision-making by men. In Bikinis, Babes, and Buying, we learned that guys who looked at pictures of bikini-clad women made impulsive decisions. In A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal, we found that men accepted higher loan rates when the direct mail offer included a picture of an attractive woman. Do women just make men crazy? Actually, there’s a scientific explanation for these effects. […]

By |May 19th, 2010|