Continuity of Self

Are you, at the core of your identity, the same person that you were yesterday? Last year? The day you were born? The sense of Self that persists over time may be an illusion—but it’s also a mathematical property of your brain. 

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The Memory Cube

Many marketers might reject out-of-hand the idea that there could be a standard, intuitive frame-of-reference for thinking about brands, ads, audiences and media content in an integrated way. But the biology of our memory systems suggests otherwise.

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Building a Visual Brand in the Connected Kitchen of the Future

Introducing a new product is normally a challenging communication problem but doing so in a category that many in your audience have never heard of before makes the job twice as hard. That’s the problem the Seattle start-up Chefsteps faced a couple of years ago when they launched their new precision cooking tool, Joule.

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Optimizing Media

Imagine you’ve been invited to a glittering Hollywood party full of lots of interesting people. Your Media host welcomes you at the door and looks around at the different circles of conversation going on, trying to decide which group to introduce you to—and then it’s up to you, the Advertiser, to figure out how to break into the conversation, and make a memorable impression.

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Feeding the Head Heart Hand in the Fast Food Category

If you are running a restaurant, you have basically 3 marketing levers that you can use to drive your brand. Which lever should you pull? It depends in part on which ones your competitors are pulling.

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How the Brain Learns, in a Head-Made World.

Our ability to form analogies and generate metaphors is useful for more than just writing poetry or creating great print ads. It’s also the secret to how the head thinks about the hidden relationships between things and how our memories are turned into images of things that do not exist by our imagination.

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How the Brain Learns, in a Heart-Made World

According to some historians, the cognitive revolution occurred about 70,000 years ago, when some glitch happened in the brain so that humans first learned to gossip and tell stories about each other. That’s when we learned to swap memories with each other—and culture-building cloud computing Version 1.0 was invented. 

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How the Brain Learns in a Hand-Made World

The restless hand moves erratically, jerking and flailing in the space in front of the small face, squinty eyes, fingers clenched in a fist, arm stirring like a stick poking at a fire. Someday, that same little hand might hold a surgeon’s scalpel, or a painter’s brush, or the bow of a violin. How does the brain learn to operate the body in a world filled with action?

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Virtual Reality and the 3 Realms of Experience

With the arrival of virtual reality technology, the Star Trek Holodeck does not appear to be so far into the future. The Holodeck is a good, new metaphor for the human imagination, aka Memory Theater.

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How to Train Your Advertising Robot

In face-to-face communication, two human beings continuously react and adapt to the content of non-verbal signals in our facial expressions. For example, a good salesperson will adapt her sales pitch, in mid-stream, based on the emotional responses played back from the prospect’s face. In the future robots will be able to do the same thing—but right now they are still Artificial Infants.

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The Experiencer Self vs. The Remembered Self

For the Experiencer Self, each “now” is equally important, while the Remembered Self focuses on peaks and endings. So, how do you decide which moment is the right time to take a Selfie?

Imagine you were going to make a documentary called, “A Day of My Life.” How would you do it?

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The Difference Between Brand Positioning and Brand Image: The Kahneman Grid

There were two main ideas in Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s best-selling book Thinking Fast and Slow. The first idea was that there are two modes of thinking—System 1 versus System 2. The second was the distinction between our Experiencing Self and­­ our Remembered Self.  By putting these two ideas together, you get a nice framework for thinking about the difference between Brand Positioning and Brand Image. 

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What Does Your Strategy Look Like?

A brand’s “image” is an attempt to project a coherent identity, with a unique personality and distinctive styleA brand’s “positioning” is an attempt to “own” one or two key words in the mind of the consumer that sets your brand apart from your competitors. These are two sides of the same coin. While a picture may be worth a thousand words— a word is also worth a thousand pictures.

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Target Marketing and the Memory Bump

Much of marketing activity, especially advertising and media, is based on targeting by age cohort—the Silent Generation, Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and now Generation Z. The reason for this is that these groups share memories that lie at the core of each group’s self-identity—which is predictably caused by the memory bump.

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Filters of Perception

In each moment of our lives a tremendous amount of information comes at us, and the conscious mind has the capacity to process only a tiny fraction of it.  That is what is driving the current interest advertisers have in understanding the differences between System 1 (unconscious) versus System 2 (conscious) processing of information. But the real question is, “How does the unconscious mind decide what information to let into our consciousness?”

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Why Facebook Can Predict Ad Memories from Timelines

At its core, Facebook is not just a social network. It’s also an elegant self-reporting measurement system for decoding users’ cognitive process as you scroll through your timeline. The data Facebook collects (one level up) has a parallel information structure to the same three measures Ameritest collects to predict the images consumers will remember from the ads we test.

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Levels of the Game

In playing the game of marketing, it’s important to understand the hierarchy of information operating in an economic system, and what information is relevant to the decisions that have to be made at each level of the game. When playing the game, you must shift down a level for diagnostic insights, and you must shift up a level for context.

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Manufacturing Memories

Those of us who work in advertising can define our business in many ways– from the simple idea of creating sales messaging to the more complex idea of building brand relationships, to the modern techno-mantra of feeding the sales funnel. My own definition is more consumer-centric: advertising is the business of manufacturing memories.

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The Maze of Memory

In the game-world of the HBO series Westworld, AI-driven robots can pass the famous Turing test by simulating human emotions and human behavior so well that the human players in the game pretend that the robots are human. The real thing that makes the robots less than human is that they dont have long-term memories. 

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Great Expectations: Managing Branded Memories to Create Brand Advocates

The secret to building a successful brand experience is understanding customer expectations. If you meet expectations, you will have a satisfied customer.  But if you exceed expectations, you can turn a customer into a brand advocate.  It’s easy for advertising to promise the first, but hard to communicate the second.  The reason is that “expectation” is just another word for “memory.

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Facebook’s 6-Second Ads: How Zuckerberg is Reinventing Print & Out-of-Home Advertising

Our high-tech Wizards have already invented much of the magic imagined by J.K. Rowling—the magic map used by Harry now looks strikingly similar to the map on our Uber app. Many in advertising think Zuckerberg invented a magical form of Television. He didn’t. He reinvented Print and Out-of-Home advertising.

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