Pretty colorful EEG traces and adorable bunnies!
Why, it's every neuromarketer's dream!1 However,
Some are skepticalThe above quote comes from this article on neuromarketing:
Skeptics say despite its scientific aura, neuro-marketing doesn't do much more than confirm what common sense would tell us anyway - don't advertise detergent to men.
"Guess what: Babies and puppies [Editor: and bunnies] do a lot better to sell things than toothless old men," said Jim Meskauskas, vice president for online media with ICON International and advertising industry pundit.
Coming to a marketer near you: Brain scanning
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, May 19, 2008. . .
Both NeuroFocus and EmSense base their systems around devices that measure brain activity on the surface of the scalp. NeuroFocus uses a skull cap studded with electrodes. EmSense engineered its sensor into a headband that slips on and off easily. Both firms also track other physiological data - eye motion, for instance - to know what the person is watching.
In practice, the firms pay test subjects to watch commercials. Subjects are wired with the appropriate sensors, which record their reactions. The technology can measure how men and women, for example, perceive scenes differently.
But while NeuroFocus focuses on advertising, EmSense is willing to enter the field of neuropolitical forecasting:
Didn't she read the ill-advised New York Times Op-Ed piece, the critical Letter to the Editor (signed by 17 neuroimaging experts) in reply, and the ensuing fallout?
EmSense has focused its brain scans on voters watching both the Democratic and Republican primary races to determine how they react to various candidates. That generated stories - and questions about whether such techniques were appropriate.
Unlike its San Francisco rival, Berkeley's NeuroFocus will not use its brain scanning technology in politics.
"We are perfectly comfortable to help determine whether one kind of cereal advertisement is better than another, but we don't think it is reasonable or right to use tools like ours to help persuade you that one candidate is better for you than another," said Pradeep.
But Elissa Moses, chief analytics officer for EmSense, said neuro-marketing gave better measures of gut-level responses than either focus groups or polls, both of which have long been staples of political contests.
1 But maybe that approach only works for women...
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