Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

Summary: NeuroFocus is touting the next frontier of advertising: Neuromarketing. And you thought something as mundane as Web cookies were creepy.

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TOPICS: iPhone
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NeuroFocus is touting the next frontier of advertising: Neuromarketing. And you thought something as mundane as Web cookies were creepy.

This gadget, dubbed the Mynd, looks like your typical EEG headset, but this one is designed to monitor consumers' "deep subconscious responses" to gauge the reaction to advertising and other media content.

As I wrote a post on NeuroFocus’ Mynd on Smart Planet I kept going back and forth between being intrigued by the analytics and creeped out. I think creeped out won. The Mynd, a wireless headset that captures brainwave activity across the entire brain, launched at the Advertising Research Foundation conference in New York.

I can see advertising folks drooling now. The aim for Mynd is to capture real responses from consumers who would participate in home panels. Mynd would send data to a mobile device that would capture reactions.

Among the key details:

  • Mynd has dense-array medical grade electroencephalographic (EEG) sensors.
  • The device captures brainwave activity across the full cortex and can connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth.
  • The sensors are dry so there are no gels to burden consumers.
  • Mynd has been in testing and development for three years and will roll out to labs in the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.

Dr. A. K. Pradeep, CEO of NeuroFocus, said Mynd can enable "neuromarketing" to gain "critical knowledge and insights into how consumers perceive their brands, products, packaging, in-store marketing, and advertising at the deep subconscious level in real time."

For advertisers, Mynd holds the Holy Grail---knowing what consumers really think about your marketing instead of just what they tell you. In theory, consumers could wear Mynd at theaters, the home, malls and auditoriums. The data could be streamed to smartphones and tablets.

Now there are a few questions about this Mynd and the panels NeuroFocus will build. To wit:

  • What type of consumer will wear this brainwave scanner for ad research?
  • What will this consumer be paid?
  • What will brainwaves do to advertising metrics?
  • And what happens when consumers take this information and start sharing it on Facebook?

As for that latter point, you know it’s just a matter of time before consumers everywhere wear the Mynd, broadcast their subconscious reactions to products and services to their iPhone and then upload to Facebook. Talk about marketing! Welcome to the new world of advertising.

Final thought: I'd argue there are some management uses for the Mynd. Just imagine how those bottom-up manager performance reviews would go if you could really know what employees were thinking.

Topic: iPhone

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27 comments
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  • Bet Google will give these away for free.

    They'd just love to get inside your head. Ka-ching!
    Userama
    • Microsoft is evil, Apple is evil, Google is good...

      @Userama
      "Microsoft is evil, Apple is evil, Google is good...Microsoft is evil, Apple is evil, Google is good...Microsoft is evil, Apple is evil, Google is good. Now, bark like a dog..."
      John Zern
      • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

        @John Zern While I believe all the anti-Google stuff is overreacting nonsense, I have to admit, I got a kick out of this.
        Aerowind
      • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

        @John Zern Come on now, that's just a bit ruff, er, rough! ;)
        bmgoodman
      • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

        @John Zern

        I agree with you John... Google is a bit out of control with having to have all your information... It is almost like they are trying to build everyone's profile so they know how to twist your nippies and control you or maybe blackmail you someday. They also love to sell you out any chance they get if they see money involved. Did you hear about the Google Toilet?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrontojPWEE
        audidiablo
  • you've been just neuromarketed

    are there any real neuroscientists behind this "invention"? Pretty much every sci-fi comics or cartoon has a "brain control" device. Actually, eye movements are probably more predictive (if the ad is visual) than the brain waves.
    pupkin_z
    • Cant be any worse than the orgasmatron

      @pupkin_z

      Just hop right down to your Scientology center and get audited with an e-meter. Those will be the people buying them when marketing finds out they don't work on stupid people. Those will be the only people using them and stupid people have a built-in adblock plus. No brain, no wave.
      osreinstall
    • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

      @pupkin_z
      In the final anaylsis, any form of mind control consists of substituting your will for that of the subject. - Llewellyn
      zclayton2
  • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

    Can this really be true or is it just science Fiction tale? Surrogates, anyone?
    Afewgoodmen
  • Aren't they stupid to assume everyone is identical?

    Are you one of those people who likes everything that everyone else likes? Or do you sometimes find that the No.1 is detestable? If the latter, then this Mynd headset is pretty irrelevant, to you and the advertisers.
    peter_erskine@...
  • I think it might be fun to get one...

    to play around with. I'll bet it's hacked within a couple of weeks. Someone bright will figure a way to use one as a game controller, mouse substitute, ect... I personally think it would be fun to get one, surf to the NeuroFocus websight then put it on the dog and go out and play frisbee.
    Scubajrr
    • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

      @Scubajrr My first thought was that I'd sign up to be a test subject in a heartbeat if they let me keep the Brain Helmet. :-)
      jgm@...
  • Never underestimate public cupidity

    Offer enough coupons and the public Joe will sell intimate thoughts and desires for pennies. I don't know why they need the expensive hardware at all.
    terry flores
  • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

    :) O, I don't know ... there might just be a hidden up side to this gizmo ... raw brain data that tells advertisers that most of us find their ads about as useful as sand in our shorts.
    justin.donie@...
  • Just another lie detector

    "You say this commercial is good but your brain tells me otherwise! >:"
    I would use one of these on my cousin. No matter how bad the news is, he always responds pleasantly.
    roni5000
  • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

    By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I'm doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: 'There's gonna be a joke comin' up.' There's no ' joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself...borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something...rid the world of your evil presence.
    - Bill Hicks
    Scarface Claw
    • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

      @Scarface Claw - Great one! For those who don't know - especially the humorless dweeb who flagged this: "William Melvin "Bill" Hicks (16 December 1961 ? 26 February 1994) was an American stand-up comedian, satirist and social critic."
      zclayton2
  • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

    I am sure i saw something like this in a Dilbert tv episode ('the gift'), which has more than 10 years ago, and before clich? words like 'neuromarketing' were used; is it not previous art on that concept? placing people in a room and record their face expressions (which has been done since long time ago), is it not the same concept and is this all not just creating a new word for something that already exists to create new revenue by consulting on people that still don't know its meaning?
    voodoochicken
  • RE: Get ready for neuromarketing: Advertising just got creepier

    Neuromarketing will only tell advertisers about the deep, unconscious desires of that small subset of people foolish enough to cooperate with it. It would be interesting, though, to hook Dr Pradeep and the Mynd's other creators up to their own machine, and get a report on what really drives them to use their knowledge of science in such a dishonorable way.
    preilly2@...
    • Lots of people will sell themselves cheaply

      @preilly2@...

      "small subset of people foolish enough to cooperate with it."

      Hundreds of millions of people have been giving away their most private data for free or in exchange for useless baubles. There will be no shortage of people lining to try this thing if they throw in a coupon or free app.
      terry flores