Do you ever feel like you're constantly bombarded with advertisements? Everywhere you look there's someone trying to sell you a product or a service. With new neuro-marketing technologies, advertisers are trying to hack your brain in order to sell you their product. Here are eight ways marketers are hacking your brain to sell you stuff!
1. Constant Ads
The average person today is exposed to around 4,000-10,000 ads each day. This is a significant increase from the 1970s where the average person only saw 500 ads daily. Advertisers are constantly competing for your attention because they know that the more often you see their ad the more you'll like their product. This is called the mere-exposure effect and it basically means that the more humans see something, the more they like it. Marketers are trying to take advantage of this aspect of your brain by putting their ads in front of you as many times as possible. Instead of genuinely selling you on a product that you like, advertisers are hoping that if you see their product enough you will grow to like it and even purchase it!
2. Brain Scans
Advertisers are using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to monitor a person's brain when they are exposed to different types of advertisements. In 2006 UCLA researchers used fMRI to see how people responded to Super Bowl ads. These researchers found that the ads for that elicited the highest brain activity in people were not the ads that people said they liked the most. This means that people may say they prefer one ad while other ads are actually more effective in the brain. This means that advertisers can now hack your brain by showing you ads that they know will produce the most brain activity in order to sell you a product.
3. Tapping Into Our Unconcious Desires
It can be really difficult to convince a consumer to buy a product. But what if advertisers could just push a metaphorical button in our brains to make us want to buy their product? Marketers have been searching for this metaphorical button for years through neuromarketing research. Marketing professor, Zaltman discovered a process for understanding how emotionally complex and impactful ads are. Zaltman judges the effectiveness of an ad by monitoring the conscious and non-conscious reactions to different ads. Because he figured out which ads are most effective at eliciting a non-conscious reaction this means that Zaltman could then help marketers figure out how to trigger an unconscious desire to buy their product.
4. Our Need to Be Part of A Group
Have you ever bought something because you noticed a ton of people around you had it? This was likely caused by the Bandwagon Effect! The bandwagon effect is where people do something because other people are doing it. It's a natural part of our subconscious to want to fit in and be a part of the group. Advertisers are able to hack this part of our brain by showing ads that brag about how many people are using it. If an ad says that over a million people are using their product it might subconsciously make more consumers buy it too!
5. Using Pictures
The most effective ads are made up of pictures and videos. Why is that? It might be because the primitive human brain is particularly drawn to images of food, sex, and danger. This makes sense why many advertisers like Carls Junior will use scantily clad models eating their hamburgers in their advertisements!
6. Colors Are Important
Have you ever noticed that certain brands associate themselves with specific colors? This is because advertisers know just how crucial color is when trying to sell a product! Researchers found that 62%- 90% of people's feelings about a product are determined by the color used in the packaging and advertisements. For example, yellow causes a feeling of anxiety in people while blue is known to build feelings of trust towards a brand. This would explain why many ad campaigns utilize shades of blue while very few ads have yellow as the main color.
7. Utilizing Emotions
Marketers have found that the best way to sell you stuff is through targeting your emotions. Our emotions input 5 times faster than our conscious brain and emotions leave a longer lasting impression than rational thought.
8. Faking Scarcity
Many ads will say that you need to call or order now because there's a limited number of products in stock. Advertisements like these are using an evolutionary part of our brain that makes us want to hoard resources. In the past, our ancestors had to compete for limited food and water so it made sense for them to hoard as much as they can. This part of our brain still exists today even though resources are no longer scarce. By faking scarcity and saying there are only a few products left, marketers are hacking our brains to make us feel like we need to buy their stuff before they run out!