Category Archives: advertising

Made for PR Neuroscience

Times Higher Education has a short but revealing article about a ‘neuromarketing’ company called MindLab that keeps getting ‘accidentally’ associated with the University of Sussex. The ‘accidental’ association is not what makes the piece interesting, however, as it also gives an insight into a type of marketing that relies on the hype of neuroscience to […]

Advertising through avatar-manipulation

The Psychologist has an article on the surprising effect of seeing a digital avatar of yourself – as if looking at your body from the outside. The piece covers a range of effects found in psychology studies, from increasing healthy behaviour to encouraging false memories, but the bit on deliberate avatar-manipulation for advertising caught my […]

Sports car advert based on entirely new organ

Car makers Audi have launched a fantastic brain-themed video commercial to promote their new range of money-themed sports cars. It incorporates the brain as well as lots of neuroanatomy shaped graphics. An approach rarely taken with the usual penis-based marketing campaigns. It seems the neuroadvert is aimed at academic neuroscientists who would only have to […]

The psychology of advertising in the Mad Men era

Film-maker Adam Curtis has just posted a fascinating look into how the Madison Avenue advertising agencies of the 1960s first understood and applied psychology to marketing. As well as his account of these early forays into the consumerist mind he also posts some wonderful archive footage of the ad agencies’ training and discussions and some […]

Baby, Remember My Claim

If you want to make the findings of your scientific study seem more important, simply give the effect a catchy name to help people remember. A study just published online in Psychological Science found that naming research findings boosted their perceived importance, but only if people assume the name is to aid memory. On the […]

Subliminal cigarette marketing

The Tobacco Documents Library is an online database of millions of tobacco industry documents made public through court cases. Included are letters written to cigarette companies including several where the public have complained about ‘subliminal messages’ hidden in adverts. Quite frankly, they are a joy to read, and this is my favourite among many hidden […]

Ad Nauseum

I am reading Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture, edited by Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky. The book is a funny, smart and sometimes shocking collection of articles from Stay Free Magazine and blog. I first came across Stay Free when I was researching the psychology of advertising and was impressed by […]

Psychology and advertising

Here are links to some old posts about psychology and advertising. About three years ago I was writing a lot about this, and I just thought I’d collect them here: Longer posts: Is there a science of advertising? Decoding adverisements Cognitive psychology & advertising Music wine and will advertising influences familiarity induces preference neuroscience and […]


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