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The Silicon Review Asia

Unlocking the secrets of the human subconscious for advertising edge: John Zwieg

The Silicon Review
September, 2019


The human brain has evolved over millions of years to respond to certain stimuli in a specific way. Whether it is fear, awe, anxiety, gratitude, loyalty or even if it is love, anger or trust, the activities unfolding in the human brain are the product of people’s struggles. The differences in people’s responses are what make or break brands. A major difference between a product and a brand is the instant sense of trust and loyalty. When someone picks up a product, he selects a random object from a store. But when someone goes for a brand, it is out of a sense of faith and comfort in having a guarantee of quality.

It is for this reason that advertisers and marketing teams work tirelessly to develop a brand image. There is a marked difference between how people respond to the advertising of a product, and that of an established brand. Marketers can take a scientific route to advertise by learning how people respond to marketing efforts of various brands. It opens the door to understanding what people want.

Neuro-Insight is a neuro-marketing and neuro-analytics company that uses unique brain-imaging technology to measure how the brain responds to communications. It is the only company in the world licensed to use this patented technology, enabling it to measure second by second changes in brain activity. This allows the company to deliver unique consumer insight, and reveal how a piece of design or advertising is affecting people at both a rational and an emotional level.  

The technology used by Neuro-Insight, known as Steady-State Topography (SST), measures neural processing speed at the scalp in order to build a second by second picture of activity in the brain. It has been validated by research and used in scientific and clinical research applications for over fifteen years before becoming a neuro-marketing tool. The technology was first developed by Professor Richard Silberstein and his co-workers, Geoffrey Nield and David Simpson, at the Swinburne University of Technology. Neuro-Insight, based in Melbourne, Australia has been operating commercially as a market research company. A leader in the field of Neuro-marketing since 2005, it now has a strong global presence with operations in the US, UK, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

A Deeper Understanding

A staggering 90% of decision-making exists within the vast unmapped expanse of the human subconscious. However, marketing strategies today are based on self-reported data. The one-of-a-kind SST technology allows advertising teams to fully understand a consumer’s subconscious and so have a major impact on the audience’s decision-making process.

While other providers traditionally measure each piece of the creative process in siloes, Neuro-Insight measures the entire spectrum.

Neuro-Insight’s measurement of the consumer’s subconscious response allows the company to be both predictive and diagnostic. It is a method that can assess how people are going to feel, and why they feel that way. The results can then be used to optimize advertising strategies.

Multi-screen ready

Platform optimization: Measure cross-media impact and ensure content suitability for the right platform, screen, and environment. Neuro-Insight optimizes your content to achieve peak performance on desired channels.

Brand tracking

Neuro-insight tracks brand performance against its core values. Take a deep dive into the effects of your work and the impact it has on predetermined brand values.

 Big insight

An insight into human motivation — that precedes message and strategy in the form of image, myth, story, song, or ritual. Glean a deeper understanding of the ethos of the brand, product, or service and the specific aspects that resonate with the consumer on a subconscious level.         

Evaluating strategy

Competitive analysis, message strategy, audience segmentation. There are many ways to position a big idea – Neuro-Insight helps you evaluate what the best way is for your brand.

Rough execution

Weed out bad ideas early and double down on good ideas by testing storyboards and animatics. With its technology, Neuro-Insight can help identify concepts that are representative of overarching strategic goals - before precious time and money are wasted on dead ends.

Creative optimization

Predicts, diagnoses, and optimizes the effectiveness of finished creative execution. Utilize a second-by-second analysis to pinpoint scenes, sequences, and themes that effectively communicate your intended message.  

Meet the enterprising CEO of Neuro-Insight, John Zwieg

John’s storied career includes chapters as a professional musician, combat veteran, race relations educator, management consultant, agency creative director, P&G brand manager, and group CEO at the largest marketing communications company in the world. As Neuro-Insight’s global CEO, John brings a life-long commitment to discovering meaning in human motivation and adding value in creative communication.

He spent most of his career at WPP, where he was responsible for acquiring and leading 60-some marketing services companies specialized by industry, discipline, and audience—including branding and identity, digital and relationship marketing, and ethnic/demographic marketing. He also founded CommonHealth, the world’s largest and most respected healthcare marketing firm; prior to that, he was a consumer brand and category manager at P&G. Earlier in his career, John was a managing partner at Waymaker Institute, a management consulting firm.

He is a frequent keynote speaker on leadership, creativity, and collaboration, and current nonprofit activities include the Foundation for Art & Healing, an organization dedicated to the global health crisis of loneliness and alienation; and as vice chairman of the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, providing life-changing educational programs for developing leaders who effect change.

“Our insight into the subconscious allows us to tap into human motivation and desire so we can help brands answer their most pressing questions.”


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