Ross School - Senior Projects 2010

Student: Samantha A. McMenamin

Mentor: Annemarie Costello


Title: The Impact of Neuroscience on Advertising


For my Senior Project I created a website. In the website I explained how advertising started and through neuroscience, how it is advancing. I included the technology being used, as well as the companies using this technology; why children are easy targets, and what part of the brain is being affected by certain emotions through marketing techniques.


Screen Shots (Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6, Picture 7, Picture 8, Picture 9, Picture 10, Picture 11)

PowerPoint Presentation


For my senior project I studied how neuroscience is affecting marketing in this new field of science called Neuromarketing. In the eighth grade I did a project in science about the brains of teenagers, probably being inspired from my father owning neurology practices. In the eleventh grade I saw a senior project on the sleeping brain, and remembered that I had an interest in learning about the brain and thatÕs what I should do for my senior project. I also wanted to study marketing for my senior project, seeing as I would like to study communications in college and possibly go into Public Relations as a future career. When I researched both of them I found this new field in science called Neuromarketing. Neuromarketing is the study of neuroscience and how it affects and contributes to better market a product to consumers. The term Neuromarketing was coined in 2002 by Ale Smidts.

During the summer I read a book entitled, Buyology, by Martin Lindstrom. Buyology is a book explaining the science behind the consumerÕs brain and what makes us buy what we buy. I thought the book was very interesting, and everything I read I felt as though I needed to tell someone what I just learned, which is really what inspired me to create a website. I wanted people to learn what I was learning and be intrigued just as I was. So not only can the viewer learn about the brain, but also about the brain imaging technology that is being used to research the science behind the advertisements. I faced many challenges but one challenge that still remains is the ambiguity of Neuromarketers and what they are really doing. A lot of research is being done, and new labs specifically for Neuromarketing are opening world wide, but the research is not giving enough evidence to how the brain is reacting in order to create new advertisements. Also, there is no way to really change a personÕs brand loyalty because brand loyalty is formed before the age of 6, so Neuromarketers cannot really change what someone buys.

The goal of this project was to raise awareness about the science behind advertising. My project focuses on the progression of advertisements from the beginning of a competitive market to the present and all the advancements that have been made due to neuroscience. My website features information about brain segregation and the technology being used to study brain stimulation as it relates to marketing. Making a website allowed me to use many different media including video, pictures, and text, in hopes that the viewer will be engaged and not become bored.

Works Consulted

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Lindstrom, M. (2008). Buy-ology: truth and lies about why we buy. New York: Doubleday Publishing Group.

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Weeks, M. & Williams, C. (2006, June).  Discovering the feeling: Applying neuroscience to marketing.  Journa of Marketing.  Retrieved December 5, 2009, from -neuroscience-to-marketing.pdf

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Community Member (Details)

Outside Consultant:

David Kozatch

Advertising Consultant