Viewpoints

Icon

Random thoughts

Silly me: I thought only gay or straight could be determined by the length of index fingers

Obama vs Romney: Their Hormonal Quotient® Makes The Difference | DervalResearch.

I have heard much about the influence of testosterone and estrogen in the mother’s womb on characteristics (physical and emotional). Specifically whether somebody is gay or straight (oddly enough I never thought this was all that outlandish, but then I tend to believe most of what I hear). But this is the first window into a world of “applied prenatal hormonization (my name, sorry).” And fascinating it is!

In fact, based on my own index finger and ring finger (ringless probably because of the relationship between the two) I learned the following about myself: my HQ is “estrogen” and I share this trait with Brad Pitt, Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood. I am a trend setter, I am diplomatic. I am meticulous. I am also cheap, as I did not order the full $29, 15 page Hormonal Quotient® Estrogen Report.

The link above will take you to an analysis of the presidential contenders based on their assumed finger lengths (I doubt either volunteered the exact measurements of their index and ring fingers).

The applications of this marketing are obvious. I can see grand segmentation plans based on the length of index fingers, and I am quite excited at the prospect of conducting focus groups among very testosterone Hormonal Quotient® persons (which would include, apparently, most US Presidents, Angela Merkel and of course, Margaret Thatcher. While there is nothing on the site to confirm this, I would imagine that most Canadian Prime Ministers fall on the estrogen side of the Hormonal Quotient®.

Click on the picture to take your own Hormonal Quotient Test.

Filed under: Behavioral Economics, Uncategorized, , , ,

The Secret of Life Revealed

“When we think about it, nothing is as important as we think it is when we think about it.”

This delightful sophism is an extension of the original quoted by Ogilvy UK Vice Chair Rory Sutherland in a discussion published last August in Research (Questioning the Nature of Research). The quote is attributed to a certain Paul Dolan who is identified as “the government’s well-being advisor” (presumably the UK government as no North American government in power is particularly interested in well-being unless it is of the financial kind.  To be fair to the good Mr. Dolan, I added the first “when you think about it” in order to create a certain mind-fuckness about the thought.

Actually, the Sutherland piece came to our attention via a LinkedIn post that posed the question posted by Edward Appleton: “What’s market research’s response to behavioural economics?“.  Also worth reading.

Filed under: Behavioral Economics, , , , , , , , , , ,

Sex and advertising: Retail therapy | The Economist

This little gem published in the Economist is worth reading. In fact, it’s must reading as it highlights the everything-new-is-old and what-comes-around-goes-around theories of the world.

Sex and advertising: Retail therapy | The Economist.

Going back some years, Ernest Dechter invented the world of “soft-side” qualitative research: getting beyond the rational response and learning about non-rational responses. Or, triggering non-rational responses.

Not to boast, but we have been doing this for the past fifteen years: we have understood that behaviour toward brands and products is determined to a large (but not total) extent by unconscious motivations. We, that is Bruce Barnes and I, have focused on typology, specifically typology as defined by Carl Jung and referred to as archetypes. But, as we have said over and over again, identifying archetypes is only part of the process: the real power, form a marketer point of view, comes from understanding how the archetypal energies respond to stimuli from the world around them.

Most recently, Daniel Kahneman (qv) has studied this phenomenon and explains it in practical terms: the brain functions via 2 systems. We respond to everything immediately via our System 1 brain, which is entirely unconscious and we have no direct control (or awareness) of it or its machinations. Our response is moderated by our conscious, thinking brains: System 2. Depending on a number of factors, our system 2 brain can and will override our system 1 response, or it will let it go. Which results in spontaneous, sometimes illogical, sometimes bang-on behaviors.

So, from Freud (Superego, ego) to Dichter (emotions and unconscious whims) to Kahnemann (system 1 and system 2) to Bernstein and Barnes (unconscious typologies) the one theme is constant: we are hardly in control of what we do, BUT, with the right approach, marketers can develop a general understanding of why we do it.

Both Dichter and Kahneman come from the idea that what goes on in our subconscious can be influenced by factors of which we are not and never were consciously aware — that we absorb information that we are not aware of. For instance, we can be exposed to something (let’s say, for instance, the word “sex”) for a very short period of time — so short that we do not consciously notice it — and our sub-conscience will pick up on it and store it away. If it is repeated often enough (Kahneman) or relates to some base motive or need, we will associate it with other stimuli (for instance a brand name), and this will influence how we respond to the brand name.

Yes! Vance Packard may have been right all along. What did Dichter really insert into the ads for Chrysler for which he became famous, or, more obviously, Esso:

 

Are we, modern advertising people, in our eagerness to be smarter and more in control, doing a disservice to our brand clients by denying the power of subliminal advertising.?

O,r are we in fact NOT using subliminal advertising? Does anybody really know what lurks in the folds of Apples famous iPod ad?

I wonder.

Filed under: Behavioral Economics, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twitter Updates

  • @RogersHelps is there a cable problem in Toronto m5r 2 weeks ago
  • Really @BBishopAirport Disturbingly confused lost & found! If you found my stuff give it back to me. Otherwise admit you don't have it 1 month ago
  • @AnnCoulter thats a lie Ms Coulter and you know that. Why do people like you have to lie to make your point? 1 month ago
  • @HPSupport if you don't want to fix my computer just say so.Keep the $100 if you need it. Just tell me what's going on.Totally unacceptable 1 month ago
  • No Canadian good enough to lead luminata? Are we really so inferior we need an Ozzie to run our festival? Sad! @metromorning 2 months ago

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 155 other followers

%d bloggers like this: