My first "AHA Moment" of looking into the world of NeuroMarketing was in 1981-- when while relaxing in bed and reading a magazine-- I flipped it over and "saw" the real Joe Camel for the first time. RJ Renolds tobacco company always bought the back page in major magazines. Joe Camel has since been gone for many years-- ostensibly because his cartoon image was attractive to children. But there was more: I saw how they sculpted the male anatomy into his face. How his lip looked like female anatomy. How the cigarette implanted was symbolic of the sex act. Children are all attracted to the forbidden. Joe had it! He was doing everything forbidden-- and looking cool. His cartoon eyes with large pupils and shine marks were engaging to children. The upwards gaze is significant of future outcome. His mouth showed a wry-knowing smile. He was ALL reward-- sex, gambling, prestige, success-- and no effort or work shown to earn it. Much to say about his persona, but I will stop here. This is NeuroMarketing at its worst: subliminal advertising. It has bugged me for 39 years!
...and the younger generations in particular are being emotionally battered by Social Media— Instagram and FaceBook, etc.
A couple of my observations of how I think we are being bullied by visual imagery in particular follow.
We are stimulated by many things the Neuromarketers know:
which buttons to push.
One of the Neuromarketing You Tubes to search is: “Is there a Buy Button inside the Brain?”
The Media is pushing these buttons— and because we do not know how our brains are wired to respond— we are stimulated to act the way the Media wants us to act.
And we participate too— because the more we respond— the more the Media will give us. A vicious circle.
Advertising Media is simply trying to produce the best product in order to increase sales. Your brain STIMULATED by the media RESPONDS to:
Things that move quickly
Heightened sensory stimulation: (Loud, Colorful, Unusual Combinations)
Loss Aversion or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) (The Negativity Bias at work)
Threats of Punishment (we are highly motivated by fear)
Offers of Reward
Confirmation Bias (The brain likes to confirm what it already knows)
Emotional Messages (like happy puppies and cute babies)
The effect of information overload is:
Nature is Beautiful by Design: it's Therapeutic
First-- a quick definition of two branches of our nervous system that originate from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem:
You have all experienced the effects of The Sympathetic Nervous System-- this is the fight or flight portion of our Autonomic or Automatic nervous system. It is there to get you out of danger-- fast. Fight or or Flight.
This is the stimulating part of your nervous system-- which when overstimulated pulls you into FEAR, Anger, and can lead you into shut down.
There is a complementary branch of your nervous system: The Parasympathetic Nervous System -- which is your rest and digest, restore and recover part.
You need them both-- they work as a team-- but must be in balance.
What we have now in our world is an imbalance-- way too much overstimulation of the sympathetic branch-- which is keeping us in a subtle and not so subtle state of overstimulation.
So-- with that in mind-- some examples:
What do we get when we look at the Media today?
"One of our research aims is to test that hypothesis that all chronic diseases are organ-selective manifestations of the cell danger response (CDR)6. The CDR is ultimately controlled by the conversation between mitochondria, the nucleus, and neighboring cells. This happens because mitochondrial are located at the hub of the wheel of cellular metabolism. All the air we breathe and all the nutrients we eat and drink are ultimately delivered to mitochondria to help us move, think, work, and play. Mitochondria continuously monitor the chemical environment of the cell and instantly respond to danger by changing their activities from healthy function to cellular defense7. When cells go to war, they do what nations do when they go to war. When the CDR is activated, cells harden their borders, don’t trust their neighbors, and restrict the exchange of resources with their neighbors."
I believe a similar thing is going on with our "Brains on Media:"
"The SELL Danger Response"
We are unable to process the speed, volume, content and amount of the information we take in through visual and other senses-- and the result is a shut down like Dr Naviaux explains above.
We are experiencing a Cognitive Dissonance in our 24/7 barrage of constant Media.
Nature's normal influences our brains have been used to for millennia are crowded out by manmade substitutes.
AMA has called for a ban on ads on TV… I support this...
An update on the concept of your internal Lizard, Mouse and Monkey parts of the brain. Now we know the "Lizard Brain" is not confined to the Amygdala-- but we do need good simple ways to understand our brain.
Is anyone talking about our Internal Parrot?
In this lovely woodblock print from the late 1800's your eyes meet several concepts that they take in to your brain for your brain to process...
This is a wonderful example of Parasympathetic Art!
And yet you look closer and see that there is death depicted as well.
When looking Taoist Art, there is always reference to the entire Big Picture.
The focus is on the beauty of Life. But the concept that Life can only be appreciated by also contrasting with death. So-- there is always a focus on the beauty of Life-- but an homage to death in Taoist art. The entire Big Picture of the Cycle of Life and Death: complementarity -- as depicted in the symbol of the Tao with the outer circle representing "All that is", and the dual forces inside complementing one another.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist teacher has a wonderful succinct quote which also refers to the complementarity of Life and Death:
What an effective way to bring in information into the brain this beautiful woodcut is! The Nature, beauty, and serenity draw you in. The message of looking at Life as a whole (Positive Neuromarketing advertising)-- is a great lesson in living Life.
This is a visual image we can process without going into Sympathetic overload!
This is an example of our "Brain on Nature."
and... "Brain Based Art."
Being able to process the visual (and other) information we take in -- to metabolize it, to use it, to discard what is not needed-- is a similar function to what we do with our bodies processing food: taking in oxygen, processing the toxins out, etc.
"Mental Metabolization" or, "Mental Methylation"
Information that cannot be processed by the brain includes Cognitive Dissonance.
From Wiki: "In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the experience of psychological stress that occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, values, or participates in an action that goes against one of these three. "Wikipedia
And-- this Cognitive Dissonance input creates more cognitive dissonance as the brain becomes overloaded and cannot process effectively.
Art-- being a "symbolic language"-- communicates to the subconscious an entire narrative-- and it is very important to surround yourself with "cues of safety," cues of your understanding of "the Big Picture"-- to reinforce constantly and give your brain a resting place and escape from the constant barrage of media we all face. Parasympathetic Art which gives cues of safety on all levels is what we need today-- and we need to understand why we need it as well.
More on this later-- with the concept of The PolyVagal Theory as taught by Dr Steven Porges. He is the one that developed this concept and stresses that "cues of safety" must be in place for the Sympathetic Nervous System to calm down from overload.
More to Come Soon:
Bullying in Social Media
The Primate Intimidation Stare: in automotive design, in fashion advertising, the media, garment design...
Vision, Eyes, and Advertising
Continuing the above-- we have gone from smiling eyes to intimidating eyes...
Why the Media is:
LOUD, Fast, Colorful, Playful, Annoying...
Smiling in the Media:
A comment on Lisa Barrett Feldman's work--
On Smiles being natural in Children...(Study of children smiling 400 times per day)but in many cultures-- particularly in harsh climates-- stoicism was the adult model of behavior-- to be adopted by children very early on in some cases. (My article for the Weston A Price Foundation on the Native Americans and their closed mouth/stoic expressions: 100 Years Before Weston A Price-- the Observations of George Catlin)A lack of a smile on an adult can also be due to jaw or dental damageFor the purpose of advertising in the US-- a smile is widely recognized to denote happiness and certainly the number of smile related logos will support this.
Advertising Jingles are Mantras-- your "Internal Parrot"
Rest and recovery-- give it time to sink in:
Art IS a symbolic language. See the symbolism in all forms of design-- both in Nature and manmade-- and use it wisely to inspire you, uplift you, and support you in your goals.
"The Zen circle, a popular motif in Zen art, represents the entire universe in a single, perfect stroke. Although simple, images like this are difficult to paint successfully and thus must be done with a clear mind focused on the task."
My art includes the addition of the intersecting Sine Wave of Duality...
To keep a focus on pulling essential pieces together to form a greater understanding...
What is Brain Based Art?