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 A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of[…]

Lucas Conley informs us on billboards that can read your face.

Question: Did corporate America resist your project?

Lucas Conley: We need brands. Brands are a product of our own... of our minds. We use them to unpackage larger ideas. It’s a one-word or a short-phrase means of trading information, of kind of disseminating information, and it’s a natural process. I have a book. It’s a brand. I am a brand to a degree. This is the irony of promoting all of this is that even being a branding critic there are certain elements of branding that I have to speak to and I have to be- I’m obligated to take part in. I think that as we look forward in the next decade, next 20 years, the balance is going to be struck where when consumers are made aware of what marketers are capable of. And that’s when I look at a field like neuromarketing and you look at an example like the Coke and Pepsi challenge with neuromarketing. They did a Coke, Pepsi challenge without showing the cans and the majority of the people preferred the Pepsi. Then they put the cans out there in front of them and did the test again. The majority of people preferred Coke. And on the brain scans their frontal cortex was lighting up and that’s the area where you store your sense of identity, your memories, your kind of... the things that resonate with who you think you are. And the kind of conjecture or the conclusion from there is that Coke is so ubiquitous a brand, we associate it with so many things, that we begin to kind of take on a sense of- a bit of identity, enough so that it overrides our taste buds. So some of those things, when you begin to understand kind of where marketers are going in... with the technology that they have, I think that’s the balance. It’s just this awareness and ability to understand what they’re doing as opposed to just kind of blindly taking part in it be it a word of mouth campaign or a billboard that’s reading your face.


Recorded on: 7/23/08