We know that political marketing – the art of persuading voters to support your candidate – is perhaps the most challenging and least productive form of marketing. A couple of years ago in The Neuroscience of Political Marketing, I described how research shows that political ads seem to go through an “emotional filter” that, in essence, causes voters to discount messages that are inconsistent with their current beliefs. Thus, an accusation that one’s favored candidate took money from special interest groups is likely to be dismissed as a partisan smear rather than evaluated rationally. If that wasn’t enough to frustrate political marketers, there’s now sketchy evidence that our political views may be determined by more fundamental brain wiring attributes. […]
I’ve been waiting for the first news of neuromarketing in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and it has arrived a full year before the election itself. The first few conclusions seem so obvious as to not require firing up a multi-millon dollar fMRI machine:
Voters sense both peril and promise in party brands.
Emotions about Hillary Clinton are mixed.
Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are on opposite sides of the gender divide.
These were among eight conclusions of a brain scan study described in an New York Times Op-Ed piece, This Is Your Brain on Politics, credited to Marco Iacoboni, Joshua Freedman and Jonas Kaplan of the University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience; Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Freedman, Bill Knapp and Kathryn Fitzgerald of FKF Applied Research. The details involved in reaching each conclusion may be more interesting than the seemingly bland summaries. Here’s the Hillary Clinton one, for example: […]
Political marketing is all about persuasion, and brain scans show that some voter groups respond to new information with emotional rather than rational brain areas.
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Your weekend reading list for all things brain and marketing-related… […]
The other day, I read a story at Fast Company titled Why You Should Google Yourself And Not Feel Guilty About It. I agreed with the reasoning of the author, Lindsay Lavine (@lindsaylavine), but was slightly puzzled by the “guilty” part. The headline was underscored by the opening sentence, “Admit it. You’ve Googled yourself, and probably felt guilty about it afterwards.”
Do people really feel guilt from self-Googling? Perhaps they do, as these kinds of searches have been called “vanity” searches, implying they are equivalent to stopping to admire yourself whenever you pass a mirror. […]
One of the ongoing controversies in neuromarketing is how well current techniques can identify specific emotions. While there’s general agreement that attention and emotional engagement can be tracked, identifying specific emotions with confidence has been elusive. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have published a new study showing the ability to identify emotions with an accuracy “well above chance” using fMRI. […]