This Is Your Brain on Advertising: How Marketers Target Your Senses

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Everyone knows that advertisers try to get people to buy stuff by bombarding their eyes with sexy spokespeople and sleek cars, and their ears with the crunch of potato chips and the whoosh of beers being cracked open. What’s less well-known to consumers, though, is the subtle, complicated ways savvy marketers target people’s other senses.

The key concept here is embodied cognition, the idea that all our senses help drive our behavior and we can’t really consider our brains to be separate from the rest of our bodies, since input from elsewhere affects everything we do and think. As Science of Us explains in this week’s “This Is Your Brain on Advertising,” embodied cognition can help explain everything from the layout of certain stores to the nature of the ads that pop up on your smartphone.

You can also check out more videos in the series in our archive — including last week’s episode, which helps explain why impulse-buying is so irresistible — and come back next week for another dip into the weird world of marketing psychology.