The Neuromarketing of American Elections 2010
An article appeared on the Fast Company website by Kevin Randall entitled, “How Neuromarketers Tapped the Vote Button in Your Brain to Help the GOP Win the House.” This is real stuff. Neuromarketing Consultants employed solely by Republicans use neuroscience and marketing techniques to find ways to get inside your mind, brain and heart and get you to vote a certain way. How much of what happened in the 2010 could be in part due to the work of these little-known consultants who were employed by Republicans before and during the 2010 elections?
I first noticed the article featured on the blog of Brown Shoe Diaries on WordPress. The Fast Company article explains the Orwellian details of how many voters might have been the unsuspecting recipients of political ads and print media designed to manipulate the voter and viewer in an almost Pavlovian way. The methods were based on focus groups of people who watched various stimuli to determine how they responded physically, emotionally and mentally.
How much of the results from the 2010 election were based on Neuromarketers who successfully pushed voters buttons that drove them to vote for one candidate over another? Why are these consultants who appear to only be used by Republicans to date hiding in the shadows?
Should neuromarketing be banned from political ads the way certain subliminal advertising was banned at one time?
Who will seriously study how this type of advertising may be poisoning the political discourse? Are these neuromarketers helping their clients manipulate others with new types of brainwashing techniques? Should there be a disclaimer to ads that use this type of research so viewers know they could unwittingly be subject to mental manipulation beyond their control? Is this fair advertising?
Should political candidates be mandated to reveal if they employ neuromarketers in their campaigns? We now have warnings mandated by law on cigarettes, “WARNING: Cigarette smoking could be dangerous to your health.”
The Neuromarketer disclaimer could be,
“WARNING: This ad utilized neuromarketing techniques that could result in manipulation of your emotions, brain and vote beyond your control.”
Is this a form of “brainwashing the vote?”