It was heartening to read the recent 'National Post' article challenging marketers' continued reliance on focus groups for testing ads and ideas. The article profiled Brainsights, a two year old neuromarketing firm and their intriguing use of EEG scanners to identify what types of messages grab consumers the most on a subconscious level. We share Brainsights' commitment to cutting through 'the grey matter', only we do it using the science of metaphor to uncover how consumers FRAME early stage creative stories and ads.
In the article, Claus Bermeister, Group Strategy Director at MEC Toronto, describes Brainsights use of the EEG and the science behind it as providing ‘ bulletproof ’ insights. We agree that the case for Brainsights real time data driven approach is strong. However, we would also argue that the story for what type of message subconsciously grabs consumers the most would not be complete without the why and the why is based on an interpretive analysis of attitudinal data captured in a set of pre-screening questions. In short, while consumers have not been directly asked to filter, the 'mind mappers' have used a set of attitudinal filters to masterfully shape the underdog story in the example shared.
Just as EEG technology is backed by neuroscience, so too is the power of metaphor for unlocking the subconscious mind. Bulletproof is a big claim. However, we think that if you can identify the types of messages that grab consumers and then if you can also identify the metaphoric frame to understand why the message grabs them, you are seriously close to bulletproof.