09 Jun 6 Major Brands That Used Neuromarketing to Increase Sales

Creating an ad and a successful campaign is an expensive endeavor. Innovative marketers are now using neuromarketing to help brands increase sales.  With this valuable knowledge, they can make better choices concerning pricing, ad creation and even product development.


These brands are the proven masters of utilizing neuromarketing to move the sales needle:


When Yahoo was set to launch their new branding campaign to attract more users to the search engine, they created an ad of people around the world dancing.  They ran this upbeat 60 second television commercial through testing using EEG (or electroencephalogram), which reads brain-cell activity over fractions of a second via sensors placed on the subject’s scalp.  Before ever airing the ad online or on TV, they had confidence in this creative as the ad scored well in neuro tests, ranking high in areas of emotion and memory.



The best laid plans can be changed on the fly using neuro testing.  Frito-Lay found this out prior to a potato chip product launch, saving them millions.  The study found that subjects reacted adversely to the brand’s shiny bags that featured photos of chips.  The company quickly pivoted to a matte packaging, typing and imaging that were viewed as positive in the testing.  Shiny bags of Frito-Lay snacks became extinct in the marketplace, while their profits increased significantly.



HP’s commercial for the HP Sprocket, or portable smart phone photo printer, featured a father trying to get the attention of his teenage daughter, to little avail or so he thinks. By the end of the commercial, he discovers that the photos he has been printing out of them throughout the years are displayed in her room and he is overwhelmed. Neuromarketing showed that people who saw the ad responded empathetically and their emotions were gauged even before they could tell the marketers that they were moved by the spot.  Oxytocin is the hormone that helps us empathize with people and if your creative triggers this, it helps the audience engage and care about your brand. HP did a beautiful job with their creative.



Knowing the power of neuromarketing, the auto manufacturer engaged consumers to check out some early prototypes and employed EEG testing of brain signals to get a better grasp of preferences, and the sort of stimulation that ultimately enticed them to purchase. Hyundai used this data to adjust exterior designs to boost sales.



The online payment service owned by Ebay found neuromarketing to be highly beneficial to entice shoppers to use its service. One of the most valuable findings was the aspect of focusing on USPs for convenience and speed, which scored high on the brain response rather than hitting elements like security and safety.  Knowing this, they tailored their ads and gained users to the site, proving once again that neuromarketing can be used to increase sales.



Frito-Lay used neutomarketing with the popular Cheetos brand, opting for both EEG and focus groups to determine the impact of an ad where a woman pulled a prank on a friend by putting orange snacks in a dryer with white clothing.  Although the viewers in the focus group reported that they disliked the commercial as well as the prank, the EEG study on the very same participants found the polar opposite was actually true. They loved the ad but were hesitant to say so for fear of being perceived as mean spirited in front of their peers.

The Cheetos scenario correlates to a study on Superbowl ads conducted in 2018. Using technology to measure a group of participants’ neurochemical reactions in a focus group to over a dozen ads that ran during the big game.  Then they compared it to USA Today’s Ad Meter ranking of the commercials. Surprisingly, the group results were the opposite of the Ad Meter scores.  The ad with the most emotional engagement in the group was voted least popular with USA Today.

Why? While the brain can’t shield how an ad strikes a viewer, the participant in a focus group is likely to hide their real thoughts on the commercial, thanks to groupthink and to please the authority figures running the study. Neuromarketing doesn’t lie, and as shown above, it can be used to increase sales.


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