What is priming?

Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects. It refers to activating particular representations or associations in memory just before carrying out an action or task.

Importance of priming in marketing

Many people underestimate the importance of priming. It is extremely rare that people are willing to accept a new idea or product into their life without being primed. For example, when you choose to see a movie in the cinema 9 times out of 10 you will pick one you recognise.

But getting the consumer to recognise the movie on release is a very intentional process on the part of the production company. In the 9 months before a movie is set to be released they slowly drip feed little snippets of the movie with video ad’s, teaser trailers and billboards.

When you are choosing what movie to watch you are now more likely to watch the movie that you are ‘familiar’ with. (provided the movie is within your genre and actor preferences).

This concept is replicated in many industries such as musicians being more in the public spotlight before they release an album or go on tour and Coca Cola advertising more of their sugar free options months before the sugar tax is implemented. (Hoping to move their sales over to the better margin products)

See below for an exaggerated and quick example of priming seen in the 2015 movie ‘Focus’.

 

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