• Exit Interview: Carl Marci, M.D.
    If you've read thus far, you already know a lot about Dr. Carl Marci's brain. Now it's time to find out what's on his mind. As is our custom, we like to end each guest-edited issue of MEDIA with an "exit" interview, downloading their experience and any second thoughts they may have had. Unlike past editors - who have run the gamut from veteran consumer magazine editor Bob Guccione Jr. to Madison Avenue honchos like Alex Bogusky, Dale Herigstad and David Skokna - Marci is a scientist and a practicing doctor (in the field of psychiatry). But he also is ...
  • Safe at Any Speed
    I'd like to begin this article with a little experiment and I need your help to complete it. All you need to do is read a short sentence. But you will need to read it six-times faster than you normally do. And you will need to read at that pace from the moment the sentence begins to the period that punctuates its end.
  • This Is Your Guest Editor on Brains
    The idea that human beings are passive consumers of media content and advertising that can be transformed into "rational" actors who behave predictably in efficient markets is dead. We know now that people are far more complex, adapting to a dynamic and rapidly evolving world that is being transformed all the time because of media. Just consider that in the time it took for you to read those two sentences, billions of new impressions of media content were created and distributed across a global array of media platforms vying for the attention of billions of people. Billions of complex and ...
  • Being Carl Marci
    Knowing what I know about my brain now, it would be difficult for me to say when I first realized Dr. Carl Marci would be the perfect guest editor for this issue, but at least I know where it happened. Not geographically, but anatomically. It happened somewhere in my hippocampus, the region of the brain where important memories form and are stored. Actually, as Dr. Marci explains, the thought of having him guest edit this issue most likely happened in several areas of my brain, including its emotional and empathy parts, as well as the mirror neurons that are part ...
  • Why You Can't Lie to Me
    It's true: Advertisers lie. But here's another fact: so do consumers. Anyone who's ever monitored a focus group can tell you that. Maybe it's not lying of the shameless "It was like that when I got here" variety. It's more the "I base my grocery-buying decisions on nutrition, not packaging" kind of fibs. But either way, it's misleading and advertisers pay the price for it.
  • Putting Madison Avenue on the Couch
    As far as brains go, Barry Fischer has a pretty good one, and he's been using it to try and understand the way other people think about media and then to get them to think differently about it. Unlike some people on Madison Avenue, the brains Fischer tries to influence are not those of consumers, but the ones who use media to influence how consumers think about media, advertising and brands. For more than a decade, Fischer has been trying to rewire the way Madison Avenue's brain works.
  • The Neural Metric
    As long as there have been agencies placing ads in media, ad executives have been trying to understand how they influenced the way consumers think, feel and ultimately behave in relation to brands. In Madison Avenue's earliest days, they simply relied on their gut, but as advertising grew less novel and media more fragmented and cluttered, the advertising industry has sought better and more scientific methods to get inside the mind of consumers. Initially, those efforts relied on social sciences like psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology and its modern day buzzword - ethnography. Coupled with sophisticated survey methods, the rise of ...
  • The Last Screen
    On a recent weekend, my wife and I drove to the suburbs to see a movie in a new, "premium experience" theater. We sat in balcony seats and as I leaned forward, gazing on the crowd below, a single feature captured my imagination. It wasn't the ornate fixtures or the grand velvet curtain that would soon be pulled back to reveal the big silver screen. It was the vast sea of tiny flickering smartphone screens, glowing like a bioluminescent algae bloom in the darkness below.
  • Optical Allusion
    As a native New Yorker, I experience the neon tourist farm that is Times Square in a variety of ways: as a churl, as a misanthrope, as a hater of all animate beings in my midst. Even when the urge for culture strikes me and I slip into the genteel guise of a "thee-AY-turr" attendee, I rarely hesitate to plow through the neighborhood's chorus lines of slow-walkers, Red Rover-style. What I don't do during my infrequent Times Square forays is bend to the will of the bombardment of marketing. Obviously one can't completely ignore the shiny, blinky displays that beam ...
  • Want to Know What the Future of Media Screens Are? Try Looking at the Past
    The way people use media - especially screen-based media - has been shaped by advances in the science of computing and occasionally, in science fiction. That's a life imitating art fact. Remember the scene in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, in which Tom Cruise's character was standing in front of a transparent screen, moving objects around using nothing but his hand gestures. Geeks like me were thrilled to imagine ourselves using such an interface in the distant future.
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