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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Relationship as Product

In a new article posted on ssrn Samuel Becher and Sarah Dadush argue that today companies are selling not only products and services but also the promise of long-term relationships and emotional connectedness. As part of this trend, businesses frequently pretend that their relationships with consumers are more profound and intimate than they actually are - A business emails its clients, saying “Hello to this beautiful community of people we love!”; a telecom company greets a customer returning from a trip overseas, with a text that reads “Welcome home! We hope you had a safe trip”; A petrol company e-mails a customer, congratulating him on being “a great customer” and informing him that “we thought we’d return the favor” by offering a few cents discount on fuel; an airlines is “friendly reminding” a traveler to “grab her umbrella and coat”; or an investing banking company contacts a client, saying “Friendly note: [Name of client,] We want to reward you with up to $500 offer.”

The article links the practice of humanizing and selling business-to-consumer relationships with the loneliness epidemic, the decline in social trust and the importance of relationships to our wellbeing and physical and mental health. Against this interdisciplinary background, the article argues that B2C relational practices are opportunistic and can be harmful to consumers and society. It suggests scrutinizing what it dubs “emotional and love promises” by rethinking the puffery doctrine and by considering whether such practices “can amount to a deceptive or unfair trade practice”.

I found this article relevant to our strange and unusual times, when, as someone tweeted recently "who needs a boyfriend when my university cares about my wellbeing so much that it sends me a daily email saying how much it cares about my safety and physical and emotional health." Same with my (former) gym, yoga studios, hair salons, restaurants, airline, and shopping mall.


Posted by Orly Lobel on July 19, 2020 at 12:26 PM | Permalink


Whether political-campaign promises "can amount to deceptive or unfair election practices”.

I think everyone knows that campaign-promises are utter b.s. and no one is deceived by them anymore than Russian facebook ads. As BLM says, "no matter who's elected, everything stays the same for blacks".

Posted by: Biden Time | Jul 20, 2020 7:52:48 AM

Just here, more relevant to Facebook and neuromarketing, I quote the whole text:

" Facebook uses neuromarketing research to back its online ad clout--tracking brain/subconscious behaviors

By: Jeff Chester | Dec 9 2011

Facebook's expansion of its data collection and ad targeting system includes a recent alliance (link is external)with the Nielsen company, to help it validate its worth to the largest global advertisers. Now Facebook is working with Nielsen's new neuromarketing service Neurofocus. Like other major online marketers, Facebook is researching how its ad system influences the unconscious perceptions and emotions of individuals. It has just released a new study done with Neurofocus documenting the "neurological engagement on premium websites." Such sites of course include Facebook. Here are some of the findings:

Compared to NeuroFocus norms, “premium websites” such as Facebook, Yahoo, and the New York Times deliver substantially more engaging experiences than the average website.

• Consumers do respond differently to premium websites oriented toward three different purposes: social networking, light news and entertainment, and hard news and commentary.

• These differences are represented neurologically by different levels of attention, emotional engagement, and memory activation.

• All of these differences appear to be related to the expectations people bring to these sites when they visit them, and these expectations, in turn, appear to impact how people respond to advertising on these sites.

• A related study of advertising on three media contexts supports these results, showing superior attention emotional engagement for an ad presented in a social media online context vs. on TV or on a corporate web

In conducting the research, they explained that:

NeuroFocus measures focus on key conscious and subconscious elements of how consumers respond
explicitly and implicitly to sensory experiences (like watching an ad or reading a webpage) along
three core dimensions: Attention, Emotion, and Memory. These metrics capture direct subconscious
brain activity while the experience is underway, rather than relying on respondents’ own after-the-fact estimates of how attentive they were, how emotionally engaged they were, or how likely they would be to remember the experience. Advertising cannot elicit attitude change without at least some change in these three critical neurological responses to the ad.

All these measures are based on well-established and recognized brainwave patterns that have been
identified in academic scientific literature and adapted for use within advertising, marketing, and media stimuli by NeuroFocus scientists...In addition to measuring direct brain responses during an experience, NeuroFocus also measures the degree to which messages and conceptual associations are strengthened by an experience. This “Messaging Resonance” metric measures the extent to which the experience provided a subconscious “lift” to those associations.

As we have said before, the use of neurological analysis to influence the brain behaviors and unconscious attitudes of users require regulation. Facebook must be held accountable for how it uses this research and what it might do in the future involving neuromarketing. The FTC and the EU have lagged regulating such practices. But the time to do so is now."

Here from:

CDD, Center For Digital Democracy:


Posted by: El roam | Jul 19, 2020 3:43:52 PM

Here illustration in the online field, titled:

"Facebook to Buy Startup for Controlling Computers With Your Mind"


Maybe later, illustration from the real fields, not less amazing.


Posted by: El roam | Jul 19, 2020 3:34:45 PM

Interesting, but, it has always been so. There are of course, unique features in online ties or advertising, yet, always been so. Moreover, the future, is amazingly promising in this regard, and even less in the online field:


I quote from Wikipedia:

Neuromarketing is a commercial marketing communication field that applies neuropsychology to marketing research, studying consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli.[1] Neuromarketing seeks to understand the rationale behind how consumers make purchasing decisions and their responses to marketing stimuli in order to apply those learnings in the marketing realm.[2][3] The potential benefits to marketers include more efficient and effective marketing campaigns and strategies, fewer product and campaign failures, and ultimately the manipulation of the real needs and wants of people to suit the needs and wants of marketing interests.[4]

Certain companies, particularly those with large-scale ambitions to predict consumer behaviour, have invested in their own laboratories, science personnel or partnerships with academia.[5]

End of quotation:

Very complicated, we won't stay young here no more. Here:



Posted by: El roam | Jul 19, 2020 3:29:08 PM

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