The Spectre of Blending Signs

Nov 09 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

I really enjoyed Spectre, the latest Bond outing. In particular, the film is full of references to other (Bond) movies. Apart from the fact that Spectre weaves together strands from all three of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, I noticed quiet specific references to several earlier Bond films, including From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (via Inception) and The Spy Who Loved Me. And those are only the ones that I remember (I wasn’t taking notes in the cinema).

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Let The Hands Speak

Oct 26 2015 Published by neilgains under brain science

“Language is inseparable from imagery” argues David McNeill (quoting from Antonio Damasio) in his revealing book on the relationship between gesture and language. Moreover, gestures actually help us to think and to speak and to articulate our feelings and thinking. Read more »

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Archetypes, Identity and the Life Cycle

Oct 13 2015 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

In Identity and the Life Cycle and other works, Erik Erikson developed a lifespan model of human development covering eight stages, five in childhood and three in adulthood. His work is very much influenced by Sigmund Freud, although he focuses on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual. Erikson emphasises the role of society and culture, and the conflicts between individuals and there society and culture in shaping the way all humans develop through their life. In his model, each stage builds on the previous stages and the growth and trajectory of development shares a great deal with motivational models of behaviour and archetypal thinking. Read more »

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How to CHIME with System 1

Sep 07 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Daniel Kahneman’s version of the division of the brain is gradually replacing the models, although it shares much in common with the older view of the “triune” brain. In the triune model there area three parts, the reptilian brain (home of the basic functions like homeostasis, breathing, feeding, sex), the mammalian brain (home of the emotions) and the neocortex (home of memory, higher level sensory processing and self-reflection and rational thinking).Daniel Kahneman’s System 1 is closest to a combination of reptilian and mammalian brains (survival and emotion) although it also incorporates some higher level sensory processing too. Read more »

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Celebrity Matching: Female celebrities and Muslim beauty

Aug 30 2015 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

As part of our work on Muslim beauty, TapestryWorks, ABN Impact and Zest Research Consultancy also looked at perceptions of local female celebrities using picture sets of around 30 celebrities in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Figure 1 - Indonesia celebrity images

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Contextual Data: New Dawn or False Promise?

Aug 15 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

The Age of Context promised to be a revelatory book on the future of market research, but I have to admit to be being ultimately disappointed. The authors are evangelists for new technology, but their evangelism often feels like an informercial for the companies that they mention, and their over-enthusiasm for many ideas is irritating rather than inspiring (especially that for Google Glass). However, my biggest concern with this book is that ultimately it reads as wishful fantasy rather than future reality, as the authors enthuse for what may be possible without failing to address many big issues with the trends that they discuss.

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The Feeling of Muslim Beauty: Is the beauty myth universal or do local truths prevail?

Jul 30 2015 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

The beauty every woman desires?

Much has been written about the rise of hijabers and the modernization of Muslim values. Many such perspectives interpret cultural changes through the lens of Western values, so what is the truth about modern Muslim women in South East Asia and what they feel about beauty? Read more »

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What’s in a Metaphor? Using images to decode culture

Jul 21 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

TapestryWorks recently conducted some fascinating research into the meaning of beauty for Muslim women in Indonesia and Malaysia.  The self-funded project looked at the key emotional goals relating to beauty, using our StoryWorks framework and Visual Think Cards, perceptions of local female celebrities in relation to beauty, and an emotional and cultural analysis of how brands are talking about beauty in both markets.

We will be sharing the results with clients and publishing some of the key highlights soon, but one of the major findings is that many local brands are far ahead of global brands in catching the local zeitgeist and communicating messages that resonate with local cultural norms.

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Human Decision-Making and the Semiotics of Sensory Signals

Apr 24 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Successful brands understand both the universal qualities of human behavior and the cultural context of the local markets in which they operate. Thus, good brand management integrates universals of human nature with locally relevant nurturing through the prism of culture.

So do semiotics and neuromarketing have much in common? Although there has been little interaction between behavioral scientists and semioticians, they share more than is commonly acknowledged and are often solving the same problem from different perspectives. Read more »

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Making SNAPP Decisions: A framework for applying “fast” thinking

Apr 06 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural change

In Thinking, Fast And Slow, Daniel Kahneman provides an overall metaphor for human thinking as well as describing a long list of heuristics (mental rules of thumb) that we all use to make decision-making simpler, quicker and more efficient.  All these heuristics happen in System 1, the description Kahneman gives to non-conscious and implicit thinking.

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