Underhand Tactics: Neuromarketing

An investigation by Benoît Bringer
First broadcast May 25, 2012 on Fance 2

More and more companies are resorting to neuromarketing. This controversial practice involves studying consumers’ brains, analyzing how and why they respond to certain stimuli, in order to influence their decisions. It’s based on the idea that 90% of our decisions are made at a subconscious level. If a brand can speak directly to our “gut instinct”, bypassing reason, more of its products will be sold.

One company that has used neuromarketing is fast-food giant McDonald’s. They developed a perfume which was subtly diffused in restaurants to increase brand association and boost sales. Proctor & Gamble also tried a similar trick. Sales of Ariel washing powder increased by 70% after an artificial perfume was placed under the lid.

But is playing with our subconscious to encourage us to buy more things marketing or manipulation? Where do we draw the line?


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