Thursday, October 05, 2006

Psychology and Advertising

Having a background in psychology is useful in this industry. Getting into the head of the target market, be it a high powered business man looking for people he can trust, or a pennywise shopper out buying school supplies like pencils, erasers, post-its and protractor sets; I like to completely absorb myself into the role.

I find cognitive psychology especially useful. There are scientific studies that show the pathways information moves along from word to word, and how it is affected by priming. For instance, if I were to ask you to conjure up a mental picture of a ruler...

It would be the ruler you use to measure things, probably the wooden kind with the metal edge and not a ruler that reigns over the land. This is because of the previous priming in the paragraph above.

The studies of memory and the state-specific and location-specific factors that influence it, as well as how the brain differentiates between recognition and recall stimulus in its hardwiring make for very useful strategizing in media planning and conceptualization.

Then there is the 7 plus or minus 2 rule. People can only remember between 5 and 9 digits or items in a row.

For instance read this list, look away and see how many you can remember, write them down.

Fox, Rabbit, Hippo, Rhino, Tiger, Penguin, Goose, Crocodile, Elephant, Lizard

If you can remember all ten, you have an excellent memory. If it is between 5-9 you are normal. Most likely, you remembered the first and last.

Now, conjure up a mental picture of a scale.