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The Right Brain Approach: Psychology In Advertising

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I've always been interested in advertising. I usually pay close attention to commercials when they come on the television or the radio. I like pointing out what I do and don't like about the commercials, and whether or not I believe that they will be successful in enhancing the sales of the product or service they are advertising. I don't know much about what goes into advertising. I simply like giving my opinions. Advertising is even something I may consider getting into after college. Because of that, I wanted to find a website that discussed the psychology involved in advertising. I found the website for an advertising company called Kenny and Associates, Incorporated.

Kenny and Associates, Inc. describe themselves as a company whose advertising appeals to the right side of the human brain. The first section of the website explains why. In the seventies they developed what they refer to as "the right brain approach". They believed that traditional research methods such as collecting and interpreting data could be very helpful with showing what people bought, but did not always answer the question of why. They wanted the answer to the "why" question, so they began to read about the two sides of the brain, and how they differ. They found out that the left side of the brain is used for logic, language, reasoning, rationalizing and other cognitive functions. It is also the location for short-term memory. The right side of the brain functions in emotions, creativity, motivation and long-term memory.

According to this website, people will always explain their reasons for consumer decisions and behavior through rationalizations, because they want to sound like logical, intelligent people. Kenny and Associates think the best way to understand your customer is to find the real motivation for how they behave, not just the rationalizations they give. These motivations would come from the right side of the brain. From this motivation, Kenny and Associates would be able to gather information on which to base decisions for advertising. For years, advertising and psychology experts tried to design methodologies to obtain right brain information.

The second section of the website describes the company's method they developed. They call it "IN-SIGHT Methodology". The company attempts to create questions that will get around rationalizations and reveal the emotional reasons they are looking for. To do this, they use methods of visualization, relaxation and repetition. They believe those methods force the participant to avoid using rationalization. IN-SIGHT looks for trends in emotions from the responses they get. They look at how those emotions affect behaviors and decisions. They do not believe they need to interview many people to understand the emotions brought out by particular subjects, therefore they use smaller sample groups. Kenny and Associates believe that because most people are emotionally similar, they can take a broad view of most consumers. They believe people do not buy products because of their income or age, but because of emotional motivators. If these emotional motivators can be discovered, then the retailer has all the information it needs to successfully advertise their product to the consumer.

After describing their method, the website offers a success story of theirs. In 1980, General Motor executives formed Saturn Cars. Saturn was supposed to have a new way of interacting with consumers. It had to be different from General Motor's old method, because that wasn't doing too well against Japanese cars. Kenny & Associates, Inc. were called in to do research that would help Saturn advertise and sell their cars. They needed to find out what would convince owners of popular import cars to switch to a new domestic brand.

For this project, Kenny and Associates researched all the aspects of the car-buying experience. They found out that, in general, people were terribly frustrated with their past car shopping experiences. In fact, they were so frustrated, that they avoided shopping for new cars as long as they could. It was then clear what Saturn had to do to draw in more customers. Rather than trying to advertise their cars as being of a better quality than Japanese cars, Saturn became a company that treated consumers with respect, no hassles and no intimidation. As a result, Saturn has been extremely successful. The website gave some impressive statistics to show that.

The website then goes on to give answers to questions they are frequently asked.

Within these questions, it is further explained how IN-SIGHT works, and how it's different and superior to other methods of research. It even gives a walk-through guide of how an IN-SIGHT interview might go. It also mentions that the Right Brain approach can be beneficial to a participant by stimulating creativity. It then goes on to talk about how successful it's been



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