the brain | May 25, 2011

Jonah Lehrer on Product Placement in Our Minds

Yesterday, Jonah Lehrer, one of our great popular interpreters of neuroscience, wrote a Wired blog post on the way advertising is actually penetrating our minds. So, if you're questioning whether those soft-focus recollections of summers clutching a cool Coke actually happened, you might be onto something. It turns out that not only do we remember slick ads—they literally engrain themselves into our memories as part of our perception of experienced events.

Lehrer highlights an event where he vividly remembers drinking Coca Cola from a glass bottle. After giving it some more thought he realizes that this could not have happened. “There is no way [I] could have been drinking soda from glass bottles. Why not? Because the school banned glass containers.”

Marketing that focuses on idyllic pleasurable moments is, increasingly, weaving right into our cherished moments. Lehrer points to a new study in The Journal of Consumer Research, supporting the notion. What's more disturbing is that we're not conscious of the fact that brands are finding permanent product placement in our minds.

Read more about neuroscience speaker Jonah Lehrer

Up Next

technology | May 23, 2011