"Clients know now that emotion is the main profit [driver]," according to Dr Cristina de Balanzo. "Brands finally understand that they have to become human to connect and build trust."

The founder of Walnut Unlimited, a neuroscience consultancy, was celebrating the increasing penetration of neuroscience in brand marketing, as she addressed a Brainy Bar session in London in April 2017. One of a series of events jointly organised by Walnut Unlimited and WARC, these seek to highlight the insights, challenges and implications behind current research in the field of consumer neuroscience and psychology. This evening's theme: the measuring of subconscious responses.

Old vs young

"Basically, most things we do, most of our decisions, most of our behaviour is driven by unconscious processes, mental shortcuts and biases", said Ian Murray, co-founder of House 51, a research and strategy collective. He argued that this applied to marketers and neuroscientists themselves as much as consumers – and that necessitates having "some element of implicit research in your toolkit" in order to avoid unconscious bias.