Saturday, December 18, 2010

Negative messages catches the eyes - but neither our heart or our wallet

People can perceive the emotional value of subliminal messages and are much more attuned to negative words. Researcher Nilli Lavie of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience flashed word - negative (e.g., “agony,” “murder”), positive (“cheerful,” “flower”), and neutral (“box,” “ear”) - at subjects for a fraction of a second, which was too quickly for them to actually recall the word consciously. When the subjects were asked to guess what emotion the word they “saw” represented, they were far more accurate at guessing the negative words.

Roger Dooley from Neuromarketing blog concludes: "What this study DOES show is that our brains are programmed to react quickly to negative messages. Lavie speculates that it is an evolutionary advantage to respond rapidly to threats, even before a conscious thought process can take place."

Studies from the research company Millward Brown ("Should my advertising stimulate an emotional response?") prove that emotional ads both make us more aware of a brand and more involved in its message: “The ads that evoke the least positive response (i.e., are disliked) are more memorable than those which fall into the middle ground, and those which elicit positive emotions become progressively more memorable.” This means that you can reach high awareness by evoking strong emotions, whether positive or negative. Emotionally powerful ads that people like are more memorable, and when an ad is memorable and emotional it generates more sales.

This proves however only that we buy if we are positive to the ad, but doesn´t say anything about the message in itself. Negative ads are definitely good for catching someone´s eye - but do they touch the heart?

Professor Arjun Chaudhuri has though, in his research for the book ”Emotion and Reason in Consumer Behaviour”, given us an answer. He writes: "fear or anger are emotions negatively related to ads being liked or products purchased. So called “pro-social affects” like happiness, love, bonding, attachment, nurturance and hope, were strongly related to positive evaluation, liking and buying."

More on this in my book Love-Branding

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your insights :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.