Chicken Soup for the Brain

A Wall Street Journal article today took a close look at the “neuromarketing” research Campbell’s did, when redesigning their in-store signage.

The article stated that “for two years, Campbell researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design”. As you can see from the picture on the right, the shift from the old imagery to the the new is significant. Formerly believed emotional cues, like the spoon, were discovered to be less important than steam which provided a feeling of warmth.

As techniques like this become more cost effective and more pervasive, it raises serious questions about the future of the creative process. At what point will too much science kill what is an appreciated art-form? Or, in the end, will brands simply want the science which will correlate to sales?