Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Campbells goes deep for soup


The subject of neuromarketing first came up in the discussion and assignment on the video The Persuaders. The Wall Street Journal reports today how Campbell Soup is using neuromarketing techniques to get consumers to buy more soup, which it turns out is a slow growing category. The article reports that Campbell has been studying “microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design." This approach is a far cry from the traditional focus group or consumer attitudinal survey. And, it goes beyond the kinds of deep psychological analysis utilized by Clotaire Rapaille. I first became aware of neuromarketing when medical turned marketing researches utilized MRIs to study consumer reactions to television commercials.
 
Researchers could see what areas of the brain “lit up” as the commercial progressed. This allowed the advertiser to edit the commercial for maximum emotional effect. Clearly, we are going to see more of this as marketers utilize multiple techniques to get inside our heads. This is not about consumer psychology; it’s about biometric responses to marketing issues. Welcome to the future.

6 comments:

Alexander said...

As the technologies and medias of advertising have changed and advanced it does not surprise me in the least that this "neuro-marketing" is now possible. What makes me curious, however, is to what extent it will help advertisers. Not being an expert I wonder whether the sensory responses to products and ads is specific to each person. Does each different person respond differently to different ads and products? If this is the case marketers will have to make generalizations to get the most out of their ads. Is this not how many marketers do business currently? They may not use the fancy MRI technologies, but they base their advertisements on the general consensus of their target audience. How much of a profit will companies gain after spending the research money on this "neuro-marketing?"

Christine Montemurro said...

I can't help but think that this study is ironic becuase it deals directly with Campbell's soup cans. This product (with the exception of minor changes in adding pictures or more flavors) has looked exactly the same for over 40 years. Campbell's soup prides itself on being the same brand that people can identify with consistently. Any Warhol even used the brand image to communicate the idea of consumerism in the 1960s.

I would probably believe in the idea of neuromarketing a little more if it dealt with a product that was dramatically changing its look year by year. I also am skeptical becuase Campbell's soup is such a household name that already floods people with emotions, regardless of the packaging or placement on the shelf. It's just something about that all too familiar chicken noodle soup can that makes me think twice about the study.

Ashley said...

Well let me just say, the future looks pretty ___ bleak for advertisers and consumers alike if this continues. I mean seriously, what's next, dream analysis, secret video, tapped phone conversations, spies, sleeper cells, microchip implants? A couple of these things actually already exist. These guys become more and more desperate to suck us in with each airing commercial it seems. At least we can be reassured that the end is nowhere in sight. They'll stop at nothing to reach us on a personal level, to have us make a "lovemark" out of their products or to rake in those big time bucks. How successful does Campbell really foresee themselves being with this testing? My response to pictures of soup and things of this nature takes into consideration variables that will certainly be unaccounted for in the results such as whether or not I was hungry, hot, cold, sick, etc. There are too many other things that can alter the end results. Basically, this technique is just as flawed or not flawed as other advertising techniques.

Juliette said...

I believe neuro-marketing is a smart and fair way to advertise. In regards to campbell soup, I don't find it mischievous or deceptive considering it is a product that has been out there for so long and is so well-respected. By using neuro-marketing the advertisers at Campbells are just being smart and using to their advantage the emotional attachment that costumers have with the brand. Neuro-marketing maybe be overstepping a little bit when it is used on a new product that may not be reliable and people are being brainwashed. But at the same time I believe that people are smart enough to be able to regulate their own decision making.

Megan Donovan said...

This issue is very interesting because it could raise the question how far is too far for advertisers to go? They have already studied the psychology of certain effects on the human brain, such as what colors and temperatures affect human behavior, but now they are actually looking into the human brain in order to get people to buy something. It is also interesting that Campbell's soup is one of the companies that raised the issue, because I usually associate Campbell's with home and mothers, not tapping into my brain to try to sell me something. I am usually okay with most advertising, as it helps keep media outlets in business, but I think this time advertisers may have gone too far into the consumer's personal space-- their very own brain.

Kristina K said...

Depending on the product I think neuromarketing has the potential to create a competitive advantage. The concept of creating packaging with colors that appeal to the consumer is not new, but the neromarketing Cambells is doing takes this simple concept to a whole new level. For Cambells I’m curious to see if the research will pay off and generate more sales from it’s new look. However, I do not think it will be a success for such a well-known brand because it already has an iconic look. The target audience for Cambells soup is probably moms who go through the supermarket almost as if on autopilot. I cannot help but wonder about their reaction to Cambells’ new look. I do think neuromarking will have a positive impact for other products that don’t already have such an iconic look. I also think it will be easier to catch the consumers attention using neruromarketing on products that are not as well known because it attract curious consumers to take a better look at the product.