Recently, Michael Koenigs and Daniel Tranel, have taken up with this issue in an article published by peer-reviewed journal. But they have completely changed perspective. It is exactly the same structure which exhibit activation in a labelled (explicit) Pepsi or Coke test and it’s probably part of the brain responsible for brand preference (of course among other things, for more see e,g. Damasio “Descartes Error”). So, if “Pepsi paradox” really exists and McClure is right, they should not be biased by brand preference and prefer the same beverage as they do in a blind taste test. Only one but persuasive quotation from article.
In fact, these subjects are ”brand blinded” because their brains cannot form an implicit brand preference and they can rely only on consciously recollected preferences. But we can make a step further and hypothesize that VMPC activation differs individually (because of age, gender and other factors) also in healthy subjects e.g. in terms of time necessary to form brand association and degree of impact on behaviour or attitude change. Such assumption would have had important managerial implications for business people which could be formulated. In a phase of building media plans (because even large GRPs couldn’t guarantee success if a new brand is launched)?
In fact this research, although innovative, only confirms what is supposed to be foundation of neuromarketing approach: if we want to predict everyday consumer’s behaviour we must pay attention to unconscious processes which can have the crucial impact on shopping decisions. Does it mean that advertising can change physical structure of human brains in that way which results in forming neural representations of brands in turn being able to bias consumer’s behaviour? I must admit that support for such assumptions is even stronger now than ever. But it not only deserves to such acclaim but also opens a venue for other questions.