[This is an edited version of a talk for IAA Singapore and 4As on 26th September 2012]
Advertising can learn much from the latest understanding of the brain just as market research can (read more here). Although there is much to learn, here are three important lessons:
- relevant context
- emotional meaning
- repeat repeat repeat (but not in the way you might think) Read more »
The brain science of marketing
In his recent book Brainfluence, Roger Dooley shares 100 tricks for persuading and convincing consumers based on a wide range of evidence from neuromarketing and many other fields such as psychology and behavioural economics. The examples are well documented and overall this is a much more practical, structured and sound guide to brain science of marketing than many other books (including notably Buyology which is less structured and poorly documented). Read more »
Storytelling helps designers and marketers create imagery, emotional resonance and a more complete understanding of events or systems through a natural interaction between themselves and an audience. Storytelling is an important skill in learning and sharing information and biologically hard wired into all of us as a uniquely human trait. Storytelling is the original method through which we have always passed information to one another and is a rich and satisfying way to share knowledge. Read more »
How smart are our eyes?
In his Theory of Colours, published just over 200 years ago, Goethe describes colour as having ‘a strange duplicity’ and wrote about colour as something other than constant and fixed. Although his theory has been superseded, his ideas on colour perception as a product of the interplay of light and dark are still relevant today. Goethe is also partly responsible for the colour circle that is standard now and the idea of complementary colours. Read more »
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio
“The hands want to see, the eyes want to caress.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The task of architecture is to make visible how the world touches us” - Juhani Pallasmaa paraphrasing Merleau-Ponty
Are we seeing too much?
In The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa argues for the importance of our sense of touch and the dangerous dominance of vision in our thinking, design and buildings. Vision was the last of the senses to develop in evolutionary terms, but has become our dominant sense accounting for around two-thirds or more of sensory processing (you can read more on vision here and more on touch here). Like all the other senses, our sight is embedded in our skin and is an adaptation of it. Vision originated as light sensitive skin cells, and our eyes still have a covering of skin. Our skin is still sensitive to light and experiments have shown that some people are even able to detect colour from their skin’s sensitivity alone (that is, they can see with their skin!). Read more »
“Chocolate is brown, hearts are red, if you won’t be my valentine, I’ll ask her (him) instead.”
The heart of red
The red effect is a well documented tendency for women wearing red to be perceived as more attractive. It is also true that men wearing red are perceived as more dominant. Read more »
“When I see equations, I see the letters in colors – I don’t know why. As I’m talking, I see vague pictures of Bessel functions, with light-tan j’s, slightly violet-bluish n’s, and dark brown x’s flying around. And I wonder what the hell it must look like to the students.” - Richard Feynman Read more »
“The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen more and talk less.” - Zeno Read more »
“Sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted.” - Chinese proverb
Famous four or five?
Surely there was more to my richly flavoured bowl of noodles last night than the four basic tastes which most of us recognise? There was a rich savoury sensation on my tongue which I find difficult to describe, although it’s well understood in Asia.
Read more »
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” - Helen Keller
What is your favourite smell? I have many: the smoky, velvet, roasted smell of freshly brewed coffee (I have a pot in front of me), the fragrant hops at Brakspears’ brewery at Henley (no longer existing), and the sharp earthy smell of freshly cut grass are three that often come to my mind when thinking about smells that I love. One smell I really cannot bring myself to love is the durian, although many of my friends swear by it.
Read more »