Sensory Brand Awareness: En undersøgelse af audiovisuelle stimulis indflydelse på genkaldelsen af brandlogoer

Kenneth Wittendorf & Patrick Hoff Sonne

Student thesis: Master thesis


Based on studies showing that multisensory experiences influence our perception more than unisen-sory experiences do, we hypothesize that the simultaneous exposure of visual and auditory stimuli will enhance the memory function significantly compared to when exposed to only visual stimuli. Fur-thermore, we are convinced that the exposure of sensory stimuli, mostly, will be processed subcon-sciously and that the subconscious mind, overall, has a great influence on our choices and behavior. By examining the physiological reaction to a stimulus we wanted to see if the encoding of an audiovisual stimulus could be retrieved from memory by exposure of the same audiovisual stimulus. More precise-ly we used eye tracking as an indicator of the eyes’ subconscious recognition/recall of previously ex-posed stimuli to investigate if the sub consciousness with more accuracy than the cognitive choice can choose the correct audiovisual pairing. In the first part of the study the control group did a memory game to encode the brand-symbolizing logos. The test group did the memory game to encode both brand-symbolizing logos and the paired sounds. In the second part of the experiment we investigated the test groups’ ability to recall log-os/sounds by means of eye tracking. The correctness of the subconscious eye movements was later on measured against the subjective answers. Our findings suggest that multisensory experiences indeed do influence our perception more than the unisensory, at least when it comes to recall of audiovisual stimuli. Moreover, it is not all audiovisual parings that are equally easily recalled, and we conclude that both the selection of sound category (human, animal, or abstract) and level of pitch (high, middle, or low) is important when pairing for example a brand with a sound, category being the more effective of the two. As a final remark it seems that human sounds and high pitch are easier retrievable which we contribute to greater emotional impact. Shape and color didn’t show an effect but in real life situations we believe that they are im-portant in the visual differentiation of brands. We did find, though, that smaller brands (bigger back-grounds) had a significant effect on recall when paired with a sound. Age wasn’t a variable in this study, but we found that women were more successful in recalling audiovisual stimuli than men; how-ever we couldn’t ascribe it to women being more affected by senses. Thus, it must be attributed to higher attention, motivation or a generally better memory. Concerning part two of the experiment, unfortunately, we couldn’t on significant basis neither confirm nor reject our hypothesis. We didn’t see any significance on first fixations or the duration of fixations which could have indicated a recall. Even if we had made these observations it would not have been reliable to make any conclusion without more participants due to missing eye track data, a motiva-tional search pattern that wasn’t affected by bottom-up stimuli, and maybe even using eye tracking to investigate recall. One interesting finding, though, was the confirmation of initial visual scanning pat-terns, starting in the upper left areas of the screen, which is in accordance to earlier visual studies. Knowledge of the human functioning we think is intriguing whether you are a neurologist, a marketer or a customer, but this sensory study of memory and the subconscious choice is primarily targeted at marketers as an inspiration source. By knowing how exposure of the right combination of multisenso-ry stimuli can increase the experienced perception, we argue that marketers’ successfulness in attract-ing attention or achieving increased brand recall depends on both their knowledge of human function-ing in general, what studies have found within sensory branding and how they own handedly can im-plement neuromarketing research methods in their company. The combination thereof will most likely increase both awareness and recall of their brand. Given the short existence of sensory branding as a research field, we would like to believe that insight from this study can contribute to the existing knowledge, and even more inspire to further exploration, so that we may one day, get to understand our own behavior.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages139