If you have ever over eaten, one of the nice things to know is that it may not be your fault.
What? Not your fault?
You may be thinking that no-one forced your mouth open and stuffed your mouth with an extra portion of chips. No-one threatened you to either eat another slice of chocolate cake or face terrible consequences!
Well yes, that might be true, but we know from the scientific literature and studies that food marketing works. That’s why food companies spend billions every year to make sure that we buy their food.
In 2020, McDonalds spent $654 million just on marketing.
Yes, that’s almost half a billion pounds from one company! McDonalds wouldn’t spend that much money if marketing didn’t work.
One of the key techniques used by these companies is something called ‘priming’. As one scientific journal says, ‘priming is used to evoke specific memories of associations that make a person more disposed to act in a particular way’. This is often done in a way that the consumer doesn’t even know that it is happening.
One famous study on this was the French and German Wine experiment. French and German music played within a store. When the French music was played, more French wine was purchased. When German music was played, more German wine was purchased.
What was even more surprising was that customers were not aware that their decisions were being influenced. In fact people say they have not been influenced. Music had increased sales by 330% (read more here https://thedecisionlab.com/intervention/how-in-store-music-increased-french-wine-sales-by-330 )
So now that you know that it’s not your fault, you can relax and have another slice of cake. Just kidding, now you know more when you reach for those treats in the shop, stop, look around and listen, are you being influenced by marketing, including music.