Book Review: About Face—The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill
Conducting primary neuromarketing research is expensive. But I see neuromarketing becoming accessible to small and mid-size companies in two ways. The first is that the tools of neuro research are becoming cheaper, making it easier for smaller research providers to get involved or for companies to go it alone. The second is that plenty of neuro and psych research has been translated, simply, into good practices that anyone can follow.
Concerning the latter: Dan Hill’s About Face—The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising. This book is a great, concise overview of what all marketers should know. It covers a lot of what we’ve been talking about in this blog: hierarchy of information, fear of the foreign, being memorable, linking to emotions. There’s a lot of old advice—like keeping it simple—with new scientific support. There are some surprises, such as avoiding logo placement in the “corner of death” (the lower right, advertising’s old standby).
Don’t dismiss this book as obvious. God, if that were true! Our experience is that corporations really are like people, at least in the sense that they are very capable of ignoring good, solid, proven practices.
In the same vein, don’t believe that having all this information out in the open will only level the playing field, so you should focus on other practices. Again, not a problem. I guarantee that your competition is more likely to follow its leader’s fickle ego than what works.
Lastly, you might think that all these practices will now lose their power to persuade. Don’t I wish! We all complain about dirty political ads, but they will not go away as long as we allow ourselves to be pulled in by the lies. And what about our built-in fear of the foreign? Studies shows that immigration is healthy for our economy and country. Other studies show that people who expose themselves to the foreign, by living abroad for example, are more creative (which I’ll assume you think is good). Yet most of us prefer to surrender to our deep-seated emotions, opposing immigration and staying at home.
All of this is to say buy the book and follow the advice. That alone will put you ahead of your competition.