Memory morphing is an old school psychology trick… suggest that something may have happened to someone, and they will think they did it (remember “repressed memories”?). This Independent story explores the possibility of this technique in advertising. As soon as I started reading the article I thought “Don’t they do that already?”… Maybe.
“There is evidence that memory morphing might happen, though I don’t think anyone has actively tried to use it. Certainly some advertisements I have seen have a very good chance of doing it. There is advertising I can see that reminds me of good times I have had. I will probably remember the brand as having been there, although it might not have been.” But he believes morphing can only take place in a “credible” way. If consumers have had a bad experience, it will be impossible to turn that into a positive memory.
Full Story: The Independent: Selling you a new past
There’s an interesting bit towards the end from Mark Earls, planning director of Ogilvy London: “What is important these days is not what advertising does to consumers, so much as how consumers use advertising to make statements about themselves to other people.”