Multilingual Business Communication

December 15, 2008

Buy-ology: advertising science

Filed under: marketing communication, Trui Lagae — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:08 am


Martin Lindstrom, global branding expert, made some bold statements on the Youthwatching-congres last week. His quotes were based on a ‘neuromarketing’-research, in which 2000 volunteers were tested with brain scanners while watching advertisements. The results show that a lot of assumptions in advertising are plainly wrong.

Martin Lindstrom states for example that sex does not sell. Men are so diverted by the female body that they cannot catch  what brand is being advertised any longer. Second and more surprising result: warnings for cigarettes stimulate the area of our brains associated with pleasure (especially activated by sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling and smoking). Therefore the label “causes cancer” actually makes people crave even more for a cigarette. A third conclusion finishes with the current product placement trend: it rarely works. A brand should already be very much associated with a character to make the product placement effective. Otherwise, it is a waste of money for the advertisers. ( A short overview of every chapter of the book “Buy-ology” with many more findings can be found on the author’s website.)

Shocking or perhaps just common sense? Martin Lindstrom may have turned the advertising world upside down, but to me it seems his very complicated scientific research has only proven what many already understood intuitively. The big achievement of Martin Lindstrom is by proving the facts scientifically he will convince the sceptics as well.

Trui Lagae


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