Free gifts thrill shoppers as much as pornography

Researchers wired up 50 male and female volunteers and monitored their eye movements and emotional responses to a series of common consumer products. Some featured a discount coupon scheme or a free gift offer or an association with a favourite character, reports the Daily Mail.

Other daily groceries in the test featured special offers and were the regular versions of well known brands. The research has been commissioned by The Institute of Promotional Marketing, reports the journal The Grocer.

Marketing experts believe the average shopper makes up his/her mind about whether or not to buy something within two seconds of seeing it, so offers often need to stand out. The researchers from the University of Westminster in Britain used a system called iMotion which measures the body's emotional responses on a scale of one to 10.
A high of 10 is the equivalent to severe trauma which is rarely seen and could be dangerous.

But a score of between five and seven is the kind of excitement a body has to erotic images such as pornography. One Marmite promotion, to get a free audiobook featuring the children's character Horrid Henry, registered a score of up to 5.8 among the consumers. The results also suggested the ones which got shoppers most excited in the tests were also among the most successful - commercially.

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