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A magic age?

We've got rules for ads targeting kids. But what if "supraliminal" marketing gets to them first?

By Ed Mayo   April 2009

It’s 34 years since the famous Pepsi vs Coke taste test produced its curious results. In a blind test, half of subjects preferred Pepsi to Coke. But when they knew which was which, three quarters of them liked the Coke best. It went down in marketing history: massively powerful global brands could now override the rationality of our own preferences.

This low-tech test confirmed conventional thinking that clever slogans and appealing product claims persuade us to believe that brand X is better than brand Y—a conscious and rational process. But now, in places like the Human Neuroimaging Lab in Houston,…

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