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How advertisers seduce, not persuade consumers to buy products
Posted online: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 2:47:20 PM

Washington, Sept 21 : Researchers at UCLA and George Washington University have shown that different types of advertisements evoke different levels of brain activity, depending on whether they use elements of logical persuasion or non-rational influence.

Dr. Ian Cook, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and colleagues found that brain regions involved in decision-making and emotional processing were more active when individuals viewed ads that used logical persuasion than when they viewed ads that used non-rational influence. These brain regions help us inhibit our responses to certain stimuli.

In other words, Cook said, "Watch your brain and watch your wallet".

"These results suggest that the lower levels of brain activity from ads employing NI images could lead to less behavioural inhibition, which could translate to less restraint when it comes to buying products depicted in the NI advertisements," he stated.

In the study, 24 healthy adults - 11 women and 13 men - viewed advertising images while electrical activity in their brains was recorded using electroencephalography (EEG).

Each participant was shown 24 ads that had appeared in magazines and newspapers.

Ads using LP images included a table of facts and figures about cigarette products, details about how to build a better toothbrush and suggestions about selecting food for dogs on the basis of their activity level.

In contrast, sample NI-type advertisements included beading water (liquor ad), an image of an attractive woman standing with legs apart (jeans ad) and a woman leapfrogging over a fire hydrant erupting with a water spray as a man enthusiastically grins behind her (cigarette ad).



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