Our brains respond the same way to both religion and iconic brands (like Apple.)
DR. CALVERT analyzed the fMRI data, she found that strong brands brought about greater activity in many areas of the brain involved in memory, emotion, decision-making, and meaning than weak brands did. This didn’t surprise me terribly much. After all, it makes sense that an image of BP Oil would inspire less emotional engagement than a shiny red Ferrari.
But it was Dr. Calvert’s next finding that was truly fascinating. She discovered that when people viewed images associated with the strong brands— the iPod, the Harley-Davidson, the Ferrari, and others— their brains registered the exact same patterns of activity as they did when they viewed the religious images. Bottom line, there was no discernible difference between the way the subjects’ brains reacted.
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