Marco Baldocchi Group
Mobile & Augmented Reality Developer Agency
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Neuromarketing and appetizing images

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Food images that turn on the brain

We have been talking for a while about how to make images that can “turn on the brain” of our potential clients.

However, we do not take into account that, since there is no magic bullet (a theory for which there would be a “universal message of conviction”) we have to trigger mechanisms that might not work with everyone (while with others do!)

Images or information?

In the food world, the ability to engage the brains of our potential customers is closely related to the individual’s sensitivity to reward.

In 2006 the scientists of the Medical Research Council, in a research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, discovered the close correlation between images and consumer desire.

The most interesting thing of that research was the discovery that some personality traits reflect the urge to pursue rewards or pleasant experiences, including food.

Other researches have shown that people with high reward sensitivity have stronger food cravings.

Not only that. They are also more likely to be overweight.

Scientists led by Professor John Beaver, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, analyzed the brain activity of 12 men and women while observing highly appetizing foods, such as chocolate cake, insipid foods (broccoli), and disgusting food (rotten meat).

The results showed that those with a higher reward sensitivity had much more intense brain activations.

Areas that activate with reward system

The mesolimbic pathway (one of the cerebral dopaminergic circuits), is an important circuit for the development of the human being and has been identified with the brain reward system.

The mesolimbic pathway is composed of the following areas:

– tegmental area
– nucleus accumbens
– hypothalamus and hippocampus
– amygdala
– cerebral prefrontal cortex
– pale globe
– pituitary gland

The focal point is that the substance that activates this “system” is dopamine.

And here we have undoubtedly a first point of reflection.

In fact, dopaminergic neurons develop a kind of lesser sensitivity as rewards become more familiar.

Therefore, we must try to “amaze” those in front of us in order to stimulate a strong reaction that leads to an action.

How do you surprise people?

In addition to varying stimuli to engage as many people as possible (maybe using as many senses as possible), my advice is to add more elements to the message.

For example, the nutritional benefits, or non-food images of people socializing using the product in particular to stimulate those who are NOT influenced by images of appealing and tasty foods.

From a neuroeconomic point of view, in fact, the value circuit of these individuals may require a different activation to determine a purchase decision.

And you, have you ever been in front of a food product and it wasn’t the picture that “engaged you”?

If you want to learn more about neuromarketing, read our blogs. Click here.

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