Researchers from Kantar Millward Brown and Bangor University used a brain scanning method to explore how the brain reacts to tangible and virtual advertising stimuli.
The participants of the study were shown the same ad materials both printed and on virtual screens. This enabled the researcher to find out how the processing is effected by the medium of presentation.
There are three key findings of the study:
1. “Tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain”
- Tangible materials stimulate sight and touch
- They generate activity within the area of the brain associated with visual and spatial information
- Due to the connection with the spatial memory, printed material is more ‘real’ to the brain – “it has a meaning, and a place”
2. “Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations”
- Emotional powerful stimuli – tangible media generates more emotionally vivid memories
- Print emphasizes a brand’s value, products and services
- The reader actively decides to engage with a physical media product like a mailing or catalogue
3. “Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater ‘internalization’ of the ads”
- Parts of the brain associated with emotional engagement are activated more by physical materials than virtual
- The attendees of the research connected the information with their own memories and feelings
The research concludes that while both physical and virtual materials have their specific benefits, physical media creates significantly more emotional impulse than virtual media. The ‘real’ experience a mailing provides is easier to store by our memory.
Does your direct mail create an emotional response with your reader?
locr’s experience working with marketing service providers and printers has helped us gather a wealth of direct mail best practices. Take a look at these direct mail design hacks and be inspired with ideas you can use with your prospects. Speaking of design, a successful direct mail is a personalized direct mail – ever considered personalized maps to create the location connection with your customers? It’s sure to stimulate an emotional impulse!