Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Touch the Rainbow"

As you all know I am doing my project on brand loyalty. I have been receiving some wonderful responses in my quest to collect people’s answers as to WHY they are brand loyal. But in the interim I have also been doing a lot of research into the psychology behind brand loyalty. The majority of the studies that have been conducted all lead to one major conclusion: brand loyalty is highly connected to our five senses. Our minds are both emotional and rational, yet our purchasing decisions typically do not reflect the choices of our rational mind. Mind you I said typically. There are a handful of people out there that purchase with their rational mind. But, as you may have guessed, there are just as many people out there that think they are purchasing out of rationality but are actually purchasing something based on a really great marketing campaign that stuck with you subconsciously.

So, considering brand loyalty and how a marketing/ad campaign can use the five senses to initiate consumer loyalty and purchasing, I direct you to Skittles new viral ad campaign on YouTube. They took their slogan “taste the rainbow” and altered that first sense—taste—and changed it to “touch”. Their “Touch the rainbow campaign” is amazing and brilliant. In the first 3 days the Skittles Touch Series racked up nearly 1 million hits. Check it out: Personally my favorite is the “skittles touch: cage cop” but the “cat” one is pretty damn good too… Enjoy!

(Here’s a link if the videos don’t show up: )


  1. These videos are hilarious! I was quite amused with the man dressed like a cat... super funny! I also think these campaigns are pretty clever, because you are right about how our senses influence us in so many ways.

  2. (Blogspot ate my comment after multiple instances of borking my HTML! Fail.)

    Those videos are great! (Though that cat one is totally creepy, haha.) That's a clever way of getting audience participation, particularly for something as intangible as a video. I think part of the reason that it works here, though, is because we're already invested in the Skittles brand, simply because they've been around for a while and even if you're like me and don't personally care for Skittles, you know what their slogan is. So when this video shows up with a spin on that long-lasting logo, we're intrigued and want to check it out. I'm not sure about how well something similar would work with a newer, less-established company. (I could totally be wrong, but I'm just throwing it out there.)

    Semi-related, there's a couple of books I know about that you may want to check out for your project, if you're not already sick of doing background reading about it. (And you may have looked into these books already...)

    Buyology by Martin Lindstrom and Paco Underhill
    A quick and easy read examining common assumptions about effective marketing, including things like "sex sells" and "constant product placement will sell the product".

    Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
    This one is a little more general than advertising, but its premise is that although people behave in irrational ways, those irrational behaviors are systematic and predictable (hence the title). I haven't read more than the first couple of pages yet, but I've seen it recommended quite a bit.

    All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
    Another quick and easy read, this one is more from the marketer's point-of-view and what it takes to inspire brand loyalty. (Despite the title, it's actually a pretty optimistic book: if you check the Amazon link, you'll see that "Are Liars" is crossed out and replaced with "Tell Stories", and Godin early on explains the distinction between telling frauds/lies and telling stories.)

  3. After reading more about brand loyalty I came across this article.

    Neuromarketing: Brand Loyalty and the Brain

    Last week's news had several reports about a new functional MRI study looking at taste preferences and brand loyalty. Here is the abstract of that study:

    McClure SM, Li J, Tomlin D, Cypert KS, Montague LM, Montague PR. Neural correlates of behavioral preference for culturally familiar drinks. Neuron. 2004 Oct 14; 44(2): 379-87.

    Department of Neuroscience, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030 USA.

    "Coca-Cola((R)) (Coke((R))) and Pepsi((R)) are nearly identical in chemical composition, yet humans routinely display strong subjective preferences for one or the other. This simple observation raises the important question of how cultural messages combine with content to shape our perceptions; even to the point of modifying behavioral preferences for a primary reward like a sugared drink. We delivered Coke and Pepsi to human subjects in behavioral taste tests and also in passive experiments carried out during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two conditions were examined: (1) anonymous delivery of Coke and Pepsi and (2) brand-cued delivery of Coke and Pepsi. For the anonymous task, we report a consistent neural response in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that correlated with subjects' behavioral preferences for these beverages. In the brand-cued experiment, brand knowledge for one of the drinks had a dramatic influence on expressed behavioral preferences and on the measured brain responses."

    Today's New York Times Science section includes a look at this study and what so-called "neuromarketing" applications might develop.
    If Your Brain Has a 'Buy Button,' What Pushes It?
    New York Times
    19 October 2004

    "Knowing what brand you are buying can influence your preferences by commandeering brain circuits involved with memory, decision making and self-image, researchers have found."

    "When researchers monitored brain scans of 67 people who were given a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, each soft drink lit up the brain's reward system, and the participants were evenly split as to which drink they preferred. But when the same people were told what they were drinking, activity in a different set of brain regions linked to brand loyalty overrode their original preferences. Three out of four said that they preferred Coca-Cola."

    "The study, published in the Oct. 14 issue of the journal Neuron, is the first to explore how cultural messages penetrate the human brain and shape personal preferences."

    "Circulating in draft form over the last year, the study has been widely discussed by neuroscientists and advertisers, as well as people who worry about the power of commercials in determining consumer behavior."

    "At issue is whether marketers can exploit advances in brain science to make more effective commercials. Is there a "buy button" in the brain?"

  4. These are great! I too love the cat one. Using the five senses is actually a really good way to sell a product. I used to work for Coach in the Water Tower and they always told us to make sure we had our customers touch the purses, hold them and even try them on in the mirror to see how it looked on them. It was proven that using that tactic Coach sold more purses as opposed to having someone look at it while you hold it. For some reason your sense connect you more emotionally to a product which makes it easier for you to buy it and for someone to sell it!

  5. Those videos are very amusing. I love how they play with the idea of interaction (touch) so the viewer can almost feel like they are contributing to what's going on... almost. A button your finger touches is not as "touch" as I would think you can get, but I agree that brand loyalty does involves fans using multiple senses.

  6. That is some imaginative advertising. THere was a MiniCooper ad a while back with a bulldog in it that was so entertaining. I just love it when companies make the effort to entertain with their ads.

  7. It's really funny to not only see these ads yourself but see other people's reaction while they're interacting with it.

    Seriously, send this to someone while they're near you and watch their reaction. It's great.

  8. I loved the one with the cat!! The ads make you part of it which I think is appealing to potential buyers.

  9. i litterally, "laughed out loud" for the cat one.

  10. The examples you used for this post are very good resources to consider in regards to effective designs and campaigns. The "cat" video was the best!

  11. Agreed with the cat video! So funny!

  12. Great videos to back up your ideas. Hilarious!

  13. humor in advertising can be short-lived because a joke has a short life-span. however, i think humor is very effective, as a means to instantly grab attention.

  14. I love this kind of humor in advertising, animals always help, yet still effective!