Marketers already have our wallets, now they’re coming for our brains 
The Hustle

Marketers already have our wallets, now they’re coming for our brains 

Marketers are looking to gain further control over consumer purchasing by testing brain scans to figure out what consumers want before they actually know it.


June 4, 2019

In the past few years, ad agencies have pined for the most lucrative way to answer the never-ending fluidity of the ad-scape. It used to be about broad appeal. Now marketers are getting personal — Like, fer reals.

Around 2 dozen market research firms have started plugging test subjects into scientific-grade brain scans to assert stronger control over their purchases… tight.

According to Axios, the firms say they aim to know consumers better than they know themselves… Double tight.

The idea has been around for years…

And widely contested at that. But, ever since Nielsen bought up a firm called NeuroFocus, neuroscience tactics have inched into reality.

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Brain tests like EEG (electroencephalography) allow researchers to see how people’s brains react in real time when watching a TV ad, thumbing through an app — even experiencing brand redesigns.

And Nielson’s already signed up big clients like Time Warner and New Balance. Hmm, no mom-and-pops? Weird.

A little thing called ‘surveillance capitalism’

To the big boys, your corner ice cream haunt is “what’s a podcast?” years old. Small companies barely have the means to keep the lights on, let alone afford to be cutting edge.

In other words, companies like Facebook already know everything about us, and this kind of tech only benefits corps of their stature. 

If this wackadoo sci-fi method works, marketers would only be adding to the manipulative arsenals of data-rich companies.

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