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Endorsements: How Sports Stars Get Inside Your Head

bob mantzSenior Writer IJanuary 14, 2009

Dan Peterson reports that the more an athlete is associated with his product - i.e., Tiger Woods with a golf club not Tiger with a Buick. LeBron James with Microsoft...also not so much.

Peterson writes, "Marketers are now trying to make use of this brain function by observing consumers' brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In his recent book "Buyology" (2008, Broadway Books), Martin Lindstrom begins to apply this neuroscience to why we buy things."

Roger Dooley, consultant and author of the blog Neuromarketing, says, "While the individual hearing the sales pitch may be listening to the words, her brain's mirror neurons are firing at the same time in reaction to the salesperson's emotions, demeanor, etc.

"If there's a disconnect between the words that are cognitively processed and the emotions that are mirrored, the pitch will probably be less effective. Neuromarketers should take note, too; while ads normally employ professional actors who have the ability to accurately simulate the desired emotions and state of mind, pitches that use celebrity athlete endorsers...may suffer if the viewer finds the emotions don't match the words."

So, Charles Barkley might have a future as a Budweiser spokesperson.

LiveScience...Endorsements: How Sports Stars Get Inside Your Head

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