Neuroscience and advertising: Redefining the role of the unconscious1

Cristina de Balanzó Bono and Nuria Serrano Abad
TNS London and Sra Rushmore, Madrid

This paper revises and questions the usually negative perception of the relationship between the unconscious and advertising. The objective is to acknowledge the relevance of the unconscious in the behavior of consumers, by providing a new point of view based on the innovative findings of cognitive neuroscience and biometric techniques. Specifically, the paper highlights recent studies on emotion, (implicit) memory, and creativity, focusing on their implication in the advertising process. The intention of this paper is to reconsider past theories but, also, to open our eyes to new scientific findings that may well mean a new way of understanding how advertising works, giving a new value to the unconscious.