SXSW Interactive 2014

The Neurochemistry of Brand Love


Could the key to unlocking genuine connections between consumers and brands lie in understanding a single neurochemical called oxytocin? The latest science on why trust, empathy and connection are rooted deep in our mammalian brains and what this means for the future of brands.
Join world-renowned neuroeconomist Dr. Paul Zak and INNOCEAN USA's VP of Digital & Engagement Strategy Uwe Gutschow as they explore the relationship between oxytocin and consumer’s ability to trust and connect with brands. In an on-stage discussion, Paul and Uwe will explain why companies that are able to raise our oxytocin levels will prosper by diving deep into the world of neuroscience, economics, biology and psychology. The discussion will also examine the moral implications of tailoring communications to maximize oxytocin release and the possibility of using it as a metric for success in the future. An on-stage illustration will show the powerful biological effect branding has on the human body.

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  1. What can oxytocin teach us about building stronger connections between brands and consumers in the increasingly socialized media landscape?
  2. Should ad agencies consider oxytocin release from the beginning creative stages? And, do we know if an advertisement itself can trigger a rush of oxytocin that in turn builds affinity with the brand itself and influences purchase behavior?
  3. Is it possible that spikes in oxytocin levels will soon be a legitimate metric for a success in advertising in the near future?
  4. Are there ethical issues with understanding oxytocin when it comes to advertising? And, is it manipulative to aim for maximum oxytocin release? Conversely, if advertising gives people the temporary physical gift of a good feeling in the form of a neurochemical reaction, is that bad?
  5. If we prove that brand communication or interaction triggers oxytocin release, does this provide an answer to why emotion leads to action?



Uwe Gutschow, VP, Digital and Engagement Strategy , INNOCEAN USA

Meta Information:

  • Tags: economics, marketing
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Science and Space Exploration
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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