Blipverts soon here? Ads implant false memories.

An interesting article in Wired says that ads implant false memories in the consumers brains. A new study from the The Journal of Consumer Research "I Imagine I Experience, I Like: The False Experience Effect", reveals that people will think they've tried products they actually haven't used at all.

One week later, all the subjects were quizzed about their memory of the product. Here’s where things get disturbing: While students who saw the low-imagery ad were extremely unlikely to report having tried the popcorn, those who watched the slick commercial were just as likely to have said they tried the popcorn as those who actually did. Furthermore, their ratings of the product were as favorable as those who sampled the salty, buttery treat. Most troubling, perhaps, is that these subjects were extremely confident in these made-up memories. The delusion felt true. They didn’t like the popcorn because they’d seen a good ad. They liked the popcorn because it was delicious.

This explains that whole Cabbage Patch thing, I dreamt that right? Nobody was really standing in line for hours just to get a superugly doll, we're they? As long as our brains don't explode by the onslaught of false memories, blipvert style, we'll live. A sponsored memory life, but still.

Meanwhile, in depression-land Madison Ave. Declares ‘Mass Affluence’ Over. The Adage white paper: On the Road to Riches: Those Under 35 With $100K Household Income has lead financial blog Too Much to conclude that "if you don’t make $200,000, you don’t matter." Only the truly affluent are targets of ads, these days. Still, when I look around I see more and more ads for McDollar menus and quick-and-easy loans, exactly the type of advertising that is targeted at the less affluent consumer.

Taking inflation into account, Ad Age goes on to explain, the “incomes of most American workers have remained more or less static since the 1970s,” while “the income of the rich (and the very rich) has grown exponentially.”
The top 10 percent of American households, the trade journal adds, now account for nearly half of all consumer spending, and a disproportionate share of that spending comes from the top 10’s upper reaches.
“Simply put,” sums up Ad Age’s David Hirschman, “a small plutocracy of wealthy elites drives a larger and larger share of total consumer spending and has outsize purchasing influence — particularly in categories such as technology, financial services, travel, automotive, apparel, and personal care.”

I'd be more worried about the wealth-gap than the onslaught of ads and false memories if I were you guys.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.