Tool Tuesdays: Creating Brand Associations thorough Classical Conditioning/ Human Associative Learning

Montgomery County Land Trust is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and permanently preserve vanishing open land. Each part of the print campaign to raise awareness and drive membership in Montgomery County is printed on recycled paper and features images of open and forested environments, presumably in Montgomery county. Often the images include young people enjoying the open spaces. The classical conditioning starts with open spaces and young people. The Montgomery County Land Trust logo and arguments for preserving the open spaces are printed in association with the images, the conditioning directly associates the organization with preserving open spaces. Images of young people are printed in association with slogans directed towards the concept that open space is a finite communal resource, and that it should be available to all citizens of Montgomery County, including children. The combination of the effects is a classical conditioning that associates Montgomery County Land Trust with preserving land for young people.

Creating Brand Associations Through Cognitive Responses
Cognitive response to brand associations examines the effects of variables that facilitate or inhibit cognitive responses to communications. These can include peripheral cues such as forewarning, distraction, and body posture in a spokesperson. One advertisement campaign that uses brand associations through cognitive response very well is Nike’s use of celebrity endorsements for its sports equipment. By using famous athletes who are charismatic leaders in their field, Nike works to associate positive responses with these spokes-models, with the Nike product.

Creating Brand Emotional Associations
The Harley Davidson brand is synonymous in most American consumers’ minds with toughness and “the law of the road.” So when Harley Davidson decided to promote motorcycle safety (an idea historically associated with weakness in the motorcycle community,” The brand identity with toughness was paramount in the campaign. These ads have a rough, impressionistic feel and use tough visual metaphors of the open road to demonstrate why protective gear is important. The yellow text on each ad reads “Always Wear Full Protective Gear.” Presumably, leather Harley Davidson jackets, chaps and helmets.


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3 Responses to Tool Tuesdays: Creating Brand Associations thorough Classical Conditioning/ Human Associative Learning

  1. I would like to see more examples of classic conditioning, and then same industry comparisons against organizations that may take a different approach. Seeing examples such as these may really help hit the concept home for me!



    • marketini says:

      Hi Justin, great point. The look and feel of a marketing campaign is heavily influenced by the tools that are used to create the message, and collateral that was created using different tools will have strikingly different final products.

      That said, I think that classical conditioning in advertising best explains how peripheral cues psychologically affect the audience, which will make it a challenge to find examples of campaigns that don’t use classical conditioning (If any readers are familiar with organizations that steer clear of classical conditioning, please post about it in the comments section).

      Your comment really got me thinking, and I am working on a more in-depth post about classical conditioning and advertising to try and answer your request. I will post it soon…

  2. Pingback: Creating Brand Associations Thorough Classical Conditioning/ Human Associative Learning…Continued | MarketFix

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