Tag Archives: advertisements

Can the Colour of the Cup Change the Flavour of What’s Inside?

Coffee mug

Researchers haven’t found that the colour of a cup actually changes the taste of a cup of hot chocolate… but they have found that it influences your gustatory experience of it. That is to say, your brain sees the colour of the cup, which influences the way it processes the actual taste of the hot chocolate. This is a simple psychology study that nicely adds to the research literature that shows how ignorant we are of things that influence us.

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The Weapon of Comedy – Why Humour Gets the Point Across

ResearchBlogging.org
The skilled assassin appears before the onlooker’s eyes – everyone knows why he’s here, so they are ready for an onslaught. If one weapon doesn’t work, another might, and the assassin came equipped. In a flash, he’s out of sight – but he appears again with full force, defeating the enemies before they can do anything to stop him. But if you thought this assassin was thirsty for blood, think again. He’s not a master of swords, but a master of words; and the only thing he’s going to be killing is resistance. That’s because, while he’s famous for his skill, he’s known for the word on his business card: Comedian.

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Oh, For the Love of Smoking!

Why do people smoke when they know that smoking is bad for themselves? Reasons range from self-deception to “ignorance is bliss.” A popular video-advertisement from Thailand recently broadcasted the hypocrisy and foolishness of smokers, by sending children to ask for lighters. The love affair with smoking is intense, and quitting always seems so hard for smokers. One writer says that smoking “gives me something to look forward to every morning, allows me to remove myself from dull conversations at parties and dinners and miraculously helps me both relax and concentrate all at once. Every one is like a little hug.” How do you compete with that?

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Youth Magazines to Show Real (not Photoshopped) Girls

A big victory is coming to the teen consumer culture, because of the activity of some strong-willed youth. Fourteen-year-old Julia Blumh from Maine, USA, started the fight with a petition from the popular youth magazine “Seventeen.” She was protesting the use of photo-alteration methods like photoshop and airbrushing, which change the way models look. Exposing youth to such unrealistic depictions of beauty create high expectations and make it impossible for girls to live up to them, causing low self-esteem. After it was launched in April of this year, it took only a few months to garnish over 85,000 signatures, and Seventeen agreed to change the way they produce their magazines.

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Are the ESL Programs in Japan Doing More Harm than Good?

When you see the same mistakes being made over and over by different people – which you will inevitably see in the English education system in Japan – then the problem is clear. It’s not an individual thing; it’s a systematic issue. Students are all somehow being taught the same mistakes, and/or not enough people are fixing them. There are hundreds if not thousands of small businesses and little organizations (especially in Tokyo) that are trying to beat the bad habits out of students, but you will be surprised at how far these mistakes reach. I didn’t have to look hard to find examples of this in the newspaper.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Media, Translations | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Advertising to the Brain – Is Neuromarketing Ethical?

Have you enjoyed any recent commercials you saw on TV? Was there one that you considered profound, hilarious, moving, or inspiring? Advertisements nowadays are sometimes designed to appeal to you by using an increasingly popular procedure called “neuromarketing.” Neuromarketing is the study and practice of measuring how people’s brains respond to an advertisement, in order to maximize its effectiveness. This is done by monitoring things such as brain activity, eye-tracking, and skin response. But along with the technological advances that allow people to scan brains in order to sell products comes the all-important question: Is neuromarketing ethical?

Posted in Culture, Media, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Technology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Models are Getting Smaller but Everyone Else is Getting Bigger

When it comes to fashion marketing, manipulating the waistline isn’t exactly magic, but it sure is a vanishing act nowadays. Exhibit A: Cindy Crawford (above). Yikes! Just look at her. Today’s advertisers would tell her to come back after losing 10 pounds. She must have “let herself go,” they would say. That’s because the models of today are much smaller than the models of a generation ago. By the looks of the current state of the fashion industry, the meaning of “plus-size” should be “normal,” whereas the meaning of “normal” is essentially “anorexic” for models. Many people are worried about the message this sends to girls who aspire to have what our culture unfailingly insists on attaining – beauty.

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The Barbie Effect

Everyone knows that Barbie isn’t a particularly realistic-looking doll, and much has already been said about the notion that Barbie promotes an unhealthy and ridiculous ideal of beauty that women can’t possibly live up to. But that doesn’t stop many of them from trying. If you watch enough TV, I imagine you may have seen some of the women who have taken these ideals to the extreme. But aside from the outliers, how has the introduction and continuation of this doll affected the general population?

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The Cherry Blossoms Shall Bloom Again – An Overlooked Factor in National Unity

We’re now six months after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, and it’s time to look back on something so many foreign reporters talk about. In the days following the disaster, people were helping each other out, waiting in long lines for food, water, and gas, and were basically being what the foreign media (FM) thought was impossible – patient and calm. There are endless accounts of generosity towards strangers, and it seemed like everyone in Japan was looking out for one another. The question on everyone’s mind was “why,” considering the chaotic behaviour the world has witnessed in recent years. I offer an additional answer that it seems like everyone missed because… as you’ll see… you had to be there.

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The 5 Most Controversial Ads of August

 

Marketers are constantly trying to break new ground – push boundaries, get their names “out there,” and profit gloriously from it. August was a particularly interesting month for advertisements in the media, and we saw a number of them get pulled because of the backlash they caused. I’m not talking about some random political attack-ad that aired last month, but the regular products that everyday people consume. Mark Twain once said: “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” For the brief collection of ads below, you be the judge.

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