Is our brain controlled by product brands?
Product branding is everywhere. As we go through our daily lives we couldn't get away from advertisements, even if we wanted to. Billboards, store signs, and logos on shirts, are all around us. Large companies like Coca-Cola or McDonald's spend millions to place their brand logos all aver the world. The companies know the truth about the old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind," so they work hard to stay clearly in your sight.
Scientists from Charité University Medicine and Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany have looked into how powerfully this branding influences the human brain.
If you got together with a few friends to taste test your favorite cola, would you be able taste the difference between brands?
Researchers found that the taste testers they studied liked the cola labeled "coke" or "pepsi" better than the cola labeled with generic soda names. In addition, the subjects' brains were tested using fMRI scanning technology. The tasters brains indicated a preference for the brand colas over the generic ones.
Each of the taste testers got the same cola, a mixture of the 4 types.
The visual cues influenced how the person perceived the taste, and even the pleasurability, in the brain's pleasure center, .
The researchers concluded, "The results show the strong effects of brand cues on self-reported pleasantness, as well as on neural responses signalling reward in the brain."
Is it fair for us to say that the branded companies are training our brains to like them best? It does seem that way.
Read the whole study: PLOS ONE: Does Taste Matter? How Anticipation of Cola Brands Influences Gustatory Processing in the Brain
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