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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 23:59 GMT
Brains buzz at well-known brands
Adverts at Piccadilly Circus
The volunteers brains responded to well-known brands
Well-known brands set our brainwaves buzzing, a study reveals.

A team from Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany, found popular brands activated parts of the brain linked to self-identity and reward.

The scientists said the findings could be used to help understand how the brain perceives and processes brands, aiding marketing initiatives.

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

The results are not surprising because manufacturers spend a lot of money building a positive image around their product
Paul Buckley, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brain activity of 20 men and women when presented with brand logos of insurance companies and car manufacturers.

They discovered that well-known brands, regardless of the product, activated parts of the brain associated with positive emotional processing, self-identity and reward.

Less well-known brands activated parts of the brain associated with negative emotional response.

Image bombardment

Lead researcher Christine Born, a radiologist, said: "This is the first functional magnetic resonance imaging test examining the power of brands.

"We found that strong brands activate certain areas of the brain independent of product categories.

"The vision of this research is to better understand the needs of people and to create markets which are more oriented towards satisfaction of those needs."

Marketing psychologist Paul Buckley, from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, said: "The results are not surprising because manufacturers spend a lot of money building a positive image around their product.

"Marketing is all about learning by association - companies constantly push the same image over and over again from a range of media.

"So people associate a famous brand with positive imagery, and you would expect that positive imagery to trigger off positive emotional responses."

Bonfire of the brands
29 Aug 06 |  Magazine
Brands on the brain
13 Aug 02 |  Science/Nature

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