Same soda, different cups! Watch what happens!

Same soda, different cups! Watch what happens!

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Does presentation really matter? Does all the effort that marketers put into packaging and branding actually make a difference? Would the same soda taste different out of a fancy glass compared to a plastic cup? As you’ll see in the latest video of our Psych Field Trip series, the answer to each of these questions is yes, yes, and yes. 

We went out to the farmers market armed with one single soda bottle, two separate glasses, and a lot of curiosity. Then, we recruited random people from the crowd to taste test two different options of sodas. To make things interesting, we kept the soda exactly the same in each sample, and we only changed the way that the soda was presented. The first soda sample was given to the participant in a fancy crystal glass, and the second soda sample was given to the participant in a plastic red Solo cup. It’s the difference between a drink suited for the fanciest of fancy restaurants and a drink that was purchased after scraping together money from college fraternity couch cushions.

What did our research find? Every single person thought that the soda that came from the fancy crystal glass tasted better than the one from the red plastic cup, even though they were exactly the same. The participants said that the sample from the crystal glass was “bubblier,” “richer,” “fresher,” and “would refresh me more.” When the participants were informed that each cup contained the same soda, they were quite surprised. That didn’t stop them from having a few more sips of the soda that came from the crystal glass, though!

Overall, these findings show the powerful influence that human psychology has in shaping how people perceive the world and make decisions. The brain takes in a lot of information passively, without much attention, and it uses that information to help construct a coherent picture of the world. Often, the implicit cues that the brain picks up on can influence us without our conscious awareness, as we saw in our current experiment where the cues of the fancy crystal class actually changed the way that soda tasted! People often aren’t aware of the many subtle influences that our environment has on how we perceive the world, but marketers should certainly be aware because every single detail helps inform how customers view the product. 

As marketers, it’s important to understand the many biases and heuristics that help shape the perceptions and decisions that people make. Leveraging these insights can change people’s preferences for your product and even influence a product’s perceived value. Fortunately, there are thousands of scientific papers on these topics which marketers can implement, like the research that informed this Ad Psych Field Trip video and all the research that we leverage at Intermark Group in our unique psychologically-driven approach to marketing. 

At Intermark Group, we’ve conducted a series of Ad Psych Field Trip studies that help drive home the psychology of advertising. Give us a call at 833-578-1314 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help you turn psychological insights into great creative.