Your Brain on Commercials

Friday, November 02, 2007


Deep inside Brooke’s mind, there’s a serious aversion to raw chicken. At least that’s what we discovered when the co-founders of the EmSense Corporation stopped by the OTM offices to test her moment-by-moment physical responses to a couple of commercials.

Comments [3]

Chris from Long Beach, California

I think Bill Hick's said it best:

Nov. 07 2007 08:45 PM
Juli Eflin from Muncie, Indiana

Brooke’s article prompted the following questions:

Is there research that correlates emotion and action? More specifically, does the emotion generated by a commercial result in me purchasing the item advertised?

If it’s true that there is a correlation between producing an emotion and my purchase of the advertized product, does level of education impact that correlation? Does more education result in me being less malleable by emotion producing ads?

Finally, do some areas of study impact any putative correlation between emotions and purchases more than other areas of study?

My questions stem from my life as a professional philosopher. Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that professional philosophers and philosophy majors are not highly influenced by advertizing, yet surly we are normal in terms of our emotional reaction to images such as wiping a kitchen counter with a dead chicken.

Nov. 03 2007 11:47 AM
Andrew Sleeth from Raleigh, North Carolina

Either it's been a slow week in mass media critique or OTM is going "tabloid" on us, because this piece only exposes what a malleable journalist and easy sales mark Brooke is.
EmSense has discovered nothing novel or sensational here, and certainly nothing nefarious, as the closing queries postulate. No, the fine folks at EmSense have merely honed a neatly packaged biometric device to add digital dazzle and visual comparison to persuasive techniques advertisers -- and quite frankly, anyone else who's spent even a cursory moment considering -- have understood by intuition and exploited by design since the days of traveling medicine shows. And apparently, OTM fell for their sales pitch and swung at what it thinks is newsworthy.
Honestly, Brooke, did the machine tell you anything about your attitude towards germs and their obliteration that an otherwise alert and self-aware individual wouldn't have recognized all by herself, sans sensors? If your answer is yes, then it just so happens I have an amazing snake oil, on special just for you this month, that raised test subjects' IQs by an average of twenty points. How many bottles would you like?

Nov. 03 2007 09:35 AM

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