Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Volume 7 Issue 4‐5 (July ‐ October 2008), Pages 263-419

What they see is what they get? An fMRI‐study on neural correlates of attractive packaging (pages 342-359)


  • There is evidence in neuroscience that the brain processes negative visual stimuli in a different manner than positive ones. Our study investigates, whether it is possible to transfer these findings to one specific, often‐neglected marketing stimulus, package design. For this purpose, we measured the brain activity of subjects while they had to make decisions about the attractiveness of certain fast moving consumer good packages. As predicted by consumer neuroscience, we found that attractive and unattractive packages are able to trigger different cortical activity changes. Contrasting attractive versus unattractive packages, revealed significant cortical activity changes in visual areas of the occipital lobe and the precuneus – regions associated with the processing of visual stimuli and attention. On the individual level, we found significant activity changes within regions of reward processing. On the other hand by contrasting unattractive versus attractive packages we found an increased activity in areas of the frontal lobe and insula cortex, regions often associated with processing aversive stimuli such as unfair offers or disgusting pictures. Although, these results are without any doubt preliminary they might explain why attractive packages gain more attention at the point‐of‐sale and this, in turn, positively influences turnovers of fast moving consumer goods.

Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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