How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today's message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we're barely aware of them?
In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom, who was voted one of Time Magazine's most influential people of 2009, presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy. Among the questions he explores:
Does sex actually sell? To what extent do people in skimpy clothing and suggestive poses persuade us to buy products? Despite government bans, does subliminal advertising still surround us – from bars to highway billboards to supermarket shelves? Can "Cool" brands, like iPods, trigger our mating instincts? Can other senses – smell, touch, and sound - be so powerful as to physically arouse us when we see a product? Do companies copy fromthe world ofreligion and create rituals– like drinking a Corona with a lime – to capture our hard-earned dollars?
Filled with entertaining inside stories about how we respond to such well-known brands as Marlboro, Nokia, Calvin Klein, Ford, and American Idol, BUYOLOGY is a fascinating and shocking journey into the mind of today's consumer that will captivate anyone who's been seduced – or turned off – by marketers' relentless attempts to win our loyalty, our money, and our minds.
By C. P. Anderson - November 5, 2008
This book has a very interesting premise - using MRI to examine, not cognition, memory, or emotion, but advertising. And some of the results are rather interesting. For example:
- Negative messages (anti-smoking ads, say) can activate desires just as easily as positive ones. - Strong brands can activate the same brain centers as do religious topics. - Indirect advertising (the coke glasses sitting in front of the American Idol judges) can be more effective than direct advertising.
Probably the biggest takeaway is that what people say and how they really feel are not the same. Actually, having written all this out, I'm not sure that these results really are all that unexpected and interesting after all. ;^)
My biggest beef with the book is how thin it is beyond the basic reporting of results. Yes, it actually is over 200 pages (just barely), but there is an awful lot of padding in there. Part of that is going over some very basic ideas... read more
Should have been a 3 page magazine article
By John Coley - November 6, 2008
This book was 50% review of other brands and ad campaigns, 30% bragging about how cool the "experiments" were, 10% new data that was only semi compelling, and 10% telling you what they just told you.
If they really stretched it, this should have been a 3 page article in a reader's digest. Maybe a 1,000 word article in the WSJ.
The most interesting thing I learned was about "mirror neurons" and how our brains imagine, e.g., eating an apple when only watching someone else do it. But that is not enough for a whole book. There were other tidbits but not worth the $ or effort to learn them.
I bought this book on tape along with "Tribes" by Godin. Audible is giving that one away for free. I would have paid $20 for Tribes and nothing for Buyology. It's almost as if the author of Buyology said "well since I have spent all this money for research I guess I should write a book."
5 minutes of clear thinking will answer every question you might have thought this book would answer.
By David McDowell "Researcher" - November 3, 2008
This is the first book in a long time I felt like taking back, and demanding a refund.
Filled with common-sense observations inflated with info-mercial style prose, it's a shadow of the scientific study it claims to be.
Each chapter pounds you with juvenile "imagine this!" scenarios, while providing little scientific backing for the author's conclusions. After each disappointing narrative, he promises the next chapter has "groundbreaking new science!" Clearly, he has mastered the art of hype, for that's mostly what this book is.
Those looking for information on motivation and thinking patterns will be best served to look elsewhere.