We show that brand exposure can have double-sided effects on behavior, with brand identity associations creating both positive and negative effects on objective consumer performance. Experimental results from a racing game involving functionally identical cars with differently branded paint jobs show that Red Bull branding creates a U-shaped effect on race performance, as Red Bull’s brand identity of speed, power, and recklessness work both for and against the players. Even though brands were exposed supraliminally, effects traveled through nonconscious channels. Double-edged effects of branding on consumer performance could be increasingly important as ambient advertising and product cobranding become more commonplace.
Source: “Red Bull “Gives You Wings” for better or worse: A double-edged impact of brand exposure on consumer performance” from Journal of Consumer Psychology
So you might want to be careful what advertising is around you before you do important things. Me, I’m just going to make sure that there are posters for the next James Bond movie up EVERYWHERE I GO.
My friend Adam is one of the authors of the study. His web page is here.