Washington: Ever wondered how that enticing, full page ad in the magazine made you buy a huge flat screen TV against your better judgement?
Ads brainwash you in two ways. There is just the factual type, called ‘logical persuasion,’ or LP (this car gets 20 km to a litre). Then there is the ad that bypasses conscious awareness, called ‘non-rational influence’ or NI (a pretty, semi-nude women, draped over a car).
Now, researchers at the Universities of California -Los Angeles and George Washington have shown that ads evoke different levels of brain activity, based on LP or NI influence, reports the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics.
Ian Cook, professor of psychiatry at California University, and colleagues found that brain regions involved in decision-making were more active when people viewed ads that used LP than when they viewed ads with NI, according to a California statement.
Simply put, ads structured on logical persuasion were acceptable only after they made sense to an individual, after he or she subjected them to a thorough analysis. But the ads based on non-rational influence appealed to a more emotional side of the potential target, by tempering or dazzling them into buying it.
“The findings support the conjecture that some advertisers wish to seduce, rather than persuade, consumers to buy their products,” concluded Cook, according to a California statement.
The study was based on a group of healthy adults, both men and women, who viewed 24 ads in magazines and dailies, as the electrical activity in their brains was recorded.