The Apple Of Your Eye Is a Trick

And Disney is a truth serum

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Lots of studies have shown that subliminal advertising doesn’t work—at least it doesn’t work as a direct cause of desired behavior. For example, imperceptibly flashing a hot dog in front of an audience does not increase hot dog sales. A recent study from Duke, though, says Apples might make you more creative.

Professors Gavan Fitzsimons and Tanya Chartrand of Duke, and Gráinne Fitzsimons of Waterloo were certain their subjects couldn’t consciously see the Apple and IBM logos they were flashing in front of them. Previous tests, where subjects were offered $100 to identify the brand logos presented them at a fraction of a second rate, were unable to do so.

And yet, when exposed to those same images and then asked to perform a task that involved coming up with ways to use a brick besides building a wall, subjects exposed to the Apple logo were more creative with their uses than subjects exposed to the IBM logo.

Did Apple pay for this study? Good question, and until we hear otherwise, we’ll assume not. The researchers think it has to do with the images companies project. Apple is known for innovation. IBM is known for white button-down shirts, ties, square-rimmed glasses and flat tops.

“Each of us is exposed to thousands of brand images every day, most of which are not related to paid advertising,” said Gavan Fitzsimons. “We assume that incidental brand exposures do not affect us, but our work demonstrates that even fleeting glimpses of logos can affect us quite dramatically.”

Like make us more honest. The study also found that exposure to the Disney logo made subjects more likely to sing like a canary, whereas exposure to the E! logo made them more likely to lie.

Yeah, I sometimes lie about watching E!, too. But how else am I supposed to keep tabs on gradual flattening of Joan Rivers’ face?

Gavan Fitzsimons suggested that companies with established brand recognition like Apple put less money in advertising and more money into product placement and opportunities for brand exposure.

You know, because we’ve never seen an Apple laptop in a movie before, right?

Gráinne Fitzsimons has an interesting suggestion, too: “If you know you need to perform well on some task, say something athletic, you may want to surround yourself with images and brand logos that represent success in athletics."

Visualize and attack, brotha.


The Apple Of Your Eye Is a Trick
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  • http://www.principalwebsolutions.com Vi Wickam

    I’m going to spend the next few minutes, creating a collage of google, facebook and eBay logos in hopes that looking at the logos make me insanely wealthy. ;-)

    Seriously, this is a compelling study, but I’m a bit skeptical. I would like to see another independent study conducted on this subject.


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