A new study published by NorthWestern University has demonstrated how brands could potentially influence sleeping consumers subliminally by exposing them to sounds – and perhaps vibrations from a wearable – paired with a brand (full paper, experimental material).
The study ‘Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep‘ looked at how exposure to counter-stereotypes (e.g. female + science) can modify unconscious negative bias in gender (and race) as measured by the Implicit Association Test. Translated to brands, this might be similar to exposing consumers to ads that debunk negative stereotypes (e.g. as Hyundai has been successfully doing by presenting itself as a premium brand).
Now, there is nothing new about counter-bias training, nor is there anything new about the fact that stereotypical mental associations unconsciously influence our perceptions and attitudes. You can check how ageist, racist or sexist you really are by doing the IAT yourself here (Harvard’s Project Implicit).
What is new is that in this study the researchers paired counter-stereotypes with particular sounds – here and here – by playing the sounds during exposure. A proportion of participants were then exposed to these paired sounds again subliminally as they slept. Continuing the Hyundai analogy above, this would be akin to an ad soundtrack – say to the Hyundai ad – being played as the consumer slept, perhaps through a branded sleep app for drivers.
What the study found was that exposure to the paired sound whilst sleeping increased the effectiveness of prior exposure to counter-stereotypes. People exposed to paired sounds whilst they slept became less sexist or racist as measured by the IAT for over a week.
Now, there are all sorts of caveats here, notably that this finding needs to be replicated before marketers – especially those who have had an ethical bypass surgery – get too excited. Also, this pilot study only measured implicit mental bias, not explicit behavioural bias – actual racist or sexist behaviour was not measured. And the study certainly didn’t give any credence to any ‘learn French/astrophysics/knitting while you sleep’ quackery out there.
Nevertheless, the study does open up the possibility for enhancing marketers attempts at ‘evaluative conditioning’ (pairing a brand with positive stimuli) with the additional pairing of a sound that is then played – with the consumers permission of course – via a device as the consumer sleeps. One interesting option, with the rise of wearables, and haptic feedback, is to ‘brand’ certain haptic vibrations and sensations – and play them back as consumers sleep.
Have we found a reason for the Apple Watch to exist in our Brave New World of Marketing?
Imagine you’re on your phone, scrolling through a favorite application, when serendipity strikes. You see an ad for a compact, waterproof blanket you didn’t even know existed. What makes this so lucky? You’ve been planning a camping trip recently, and until now, you haven’t been able to find the right blanket. When you get back to your laptop, you order one.
It turns out to be a great decision. When you go on your trip, your pack is lighter and your cool nights are warmer. And you’re not the only one to benefit. With your purchase, the advertiser grows its business and has confidence its campaign is working. The publisher makes money as well by showing the right ad to the right audience.
Delivering relevant ads that create value for both consumers and businesses is the value and the vision we’re creating with Atlas. With relevance comes a responsibility to put people first. It means being transparent about what information we use to show ads and protecting the information that people entrust to us. This means building people-first privacy into the DNA of every product and feature we release.
This starts with training: Every employee is trained in our privacy obligations. It continues with product design: We include cross-functional privacy review as part of the product-development process. We have senior leaders across the company whose sole focus is privacy. And when we partner with other companies to offer services to Atlas customers, we carefully choose partners that make a similar commitment to protecting people’s information. Partners can activate their own data using Atlas, but they can’t take Facebook data out of the system.
Readers: What did you think of her blog post?
Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed
What does a Unicorn look like in 2015?
Below you’ll find the ‘Unicorn 100′ – a new list now over 100 ‘Unicorns’ have been spotted in the wild – privately held tech startups with investment valuations of $1bn and more. Taken from a new report from KPMG and CB Insights, the Unicorn 100 list is a glimpse of the future – if you believe in the truism – to see the future, follow the money.
The list is interesting in its own right, but peruse the the individual Unicorns below and you’ll spot some patterns and common characteristics emerging that are setting the agenda, investment and future of digital innovation.
Do you have any Unicorn DNA in you?
The way I use my Instagram handle is similar in design to the way our mothers used their photo albums. While scrolling through my photo stream (or the streams of my friends), I see a highly curated story of a life as captured through the most flattering possible lens.
If Instagram is the thoughtfully staged, well lit, perfect representation of a moment, consider Snapchat a silly face made in a mundane instant of everyday life. But marketers should know — there’s nothing silly about it.
Snapchat offers real-time connection with fleeting images, allowing users more freedom of expression. It’s a way to escape the curated content of other social platforms, and with a close circle of trusted followers, users don’t worry about broadcasting a perfect lifestyle.
There is also no expectation for engagement as the platform doesn’t contain an option for likes, shares or comments. Snapchat invites users to be real and show their true selves with more casual and everyday communication. (My thirteen-year-old daughter and her friends use Snapchat to send funny faces while sitting in study hall, in the car, or any other point of rest during their day.)
Snapchat is a noncommittal way to connect, but also truly intimate. By sharing the commonplace, users experience an ambient awareness of each other’s lives. Another interest aspect is that it’s not necessarily used to expand your social circle. Snapchat is primarily used to connect with those with whom you are already close (and perhaps to follow influencers you admire).
Without the easily available engagement metrics of a Pinterest or a Twitter, some marketers have dismissed Snapchat as a communications vehicle. However, there is a huge opportunity for lifestyle brands, especially those that appeal to the younger millennial or Gen Z demographic.
Snapchat is designed for mobile viewing, and as a result for teens who exclusively communicate via mobile. By decreasing image size and solving the text message delay teens so frequently lament, Snapchat has won their attention with a more instantaneous back and forth conversation.
Email also feels antiquated to this demographic, making Snapchat’s notification feature a valuable interruption into a user’s day. (Parents of teens will relate to this. I always have to text or Snapchat my daughter to alert her to an email in her inbox. For most teens, email serves just two functions; tracking of ecommerce orders and sending messages to teachers.)
Discover is Snapchat’s first foray into the marketing arena with publications beginning to experiment with digestible content that disappears after 24 hours. Those that offer short, fun anecdotes or are driven by celebrity news are shining.
Others are still finding their way, as evidenced through long, feature recipes that offer no ability to save or print and are therefore rendered useless. Marketers need to take into account the attention span of their audience and the lifespan of their content before engaging.
More and more brands are joining Snapchat and disseminating short form content. Those with loyal teen audiences will thrive by relating to their consumer’s lifestyle in real time, as well as with promotions that display a sense of urgency or limited time offer. This audience has come to expect content that caters directly to them and is a necessity to receive any form of ongoing interaction.
But how do brands succeed in reaching new audiences on a platform where users are only talking to each other? It is one thing to develop an identity and hope that your fan base finds you, but for those seeking increased awareness, consider bringing in an ace.
There is an opportunity for brands to sponsor an influencer with an existing following. With so much trust between influencers and their audiences, the right influencer with the right brand will speak volumes to a targeted following. Go where your audience is already engaged to relate to your core demographic and form new connections among like-minded individuals.
Snapchat also provides brands with an easy avenue to experiment for those not ready to embark with a fully integrated marketing communications plan. Pull back the curtain and don’t be afraid to show your true self, the real you, the behind-the-scenes production and preparation. After all, everyone can relate to a silly face.
Danielle Wiley is the CEO of Sway Group, a leading content marketing agency with more than 90,000 influencers in its network.
Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed