The Science of Desire by Simon White at Chinwag Psych


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I will explore why so much of this fantastic new understanding is failing to gain significant traction within marketing and advertising. Whilst on the one hand we have fantastic books written, the Institute of Practitioners Advertising has produced papers, there are great conferences such as this and ground breaking new research techniques, and yet traditional approaches and beliefs still dominate. I will look at what the blocks are and how we might solve them.

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  • Need: Definitions of persuasion, saliency, involvement & reinforcement modelsQuestion: Why is the ‘saliency’ model wrong?In essence all these models make the same mistake, they assume that human beings rationally weigh up the options, then make a decision. As Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein put it in Nudge, we are not rationally driven & infallible ‘homo economicus’. In reality, we are regularly knocked off course by the emotions & instincts that make us homo sapiens. It is not surprising that the ‘homo economicus’ view became so dominant. Society teaches us that science and rational argument are superior & that people displaying emotions are weak. Yet the truth is that it is our emotions & instincts that drive the vast majority of our decisions – whether we admit to it or not!AIDA (E. St. Elmo Lewis):A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.I - Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).D - Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.A - Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.Heirarchy of effects model:AwarenessKnowledgeLikingPreferenceConviction Purchase
  • Of all the learnings coming from the world of neuroscience, the staggering power and dominance of System 1 thinking is the most important.As we saw earlier, the vast majority of our brain’s processing power and as a result the vast majority of decision making happens at an unconscious, System 1 level. System 1 processing is the fast, intuitive, emotional decision making that we don’t know we are doing – the decisions that just ‘feel’ right.Some of the time however, we do require our slower, more rational System 2 brain to rubber stamp our intuitive decisions. That is when our decisions become conscious and we come up with good reasons for doing what we wanted to do all along. Most of us believe that all our decisions are rational and well thought through. We are deluding ourselves! This is simply not the case. We should view our decision making as a combination of mainly intuitive & emotional responses, combined with a crucial sprinkling of rational thinking.
  • The Science of Desire by Simon White at Chinwag Psych

    1. 1. 5%95%Source: Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate for Economics, 2002Autopilot:Unconscious Implicitemotional, decisive, trustingPilot:Conscious ExplicitRational, balances factors, critical