Your Brain on Ads

Screenshot of My Brain on Ads by Maya CuevoTake a therapist who trained her daughter to watch media, including ads, with critical attention. Now imagine this daughter, Maya Cueva–already a journalist while still a teenager–not only applying that understanding to her buying decisions, but taking her curiosity to the lab and the radio studio. She interviewed researchers tracking brainwaves for advertisers. They can not only measure which ads make an impression with our attention, emotions, and memory, but which parts are most effective–thus qualifying for the five or ten-second version.

(Are you old enough to remember the sixty-second commercial? I’d call those the Hallmark years–masterpieces of short-short filmmaking. But I digress, as usual.)

I especially enjoyed Maya’s own meta-critical-thinking: her mother’s likely bias, her own decision processes. (My brainwaves probably spiked there.) Maya clearly distinguished that we have brain activity that promotes buying impulses and “just say no” activity. Obviously, she’s still using her brain. Her report might inspire you to train your brain, fight the battle, keep your choices free.

NPR Radio segment, transcript, and video. The radio and video versions are different. I enjoyed both.

Cueva’s Youth Radio profile.
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Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Photo screenshot from site cited.

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