For decades, marketers have been defining a standard of beauty for female consumers. If you wear this lipstick, wash your hair with this shampoo, and wear these pantyhose, you too can be as beautiful as the models in our ads. But what if a beauty product company balked at those tomes? What if they turned the category on its pretty little ear by rejecting the clichés of female attractiveness as dictated by the market for the past 50 years? That’s exactly what Dove did in 2004.

Dove asked the marketplace, “What makes a woman beautiful?” And they put forth contemporary versions of those ideals that belie the old standards. They did it through a psychological principle called the “Social Comparison Theory,” a system that asks “Who do we think we are?” and in turn, “How do you view yourself?”

Today, marketing psychology expert Jake McKenzie talks to behavioral psychologist Dr. Lindsay Sutton about how research based on the Social Comparison Theory led Dove to its marketing revolution. That theory helped them tap into broader definitions of beauty and connect its products more emotionally to women who saw themselves differently from the way Madison Avenue had for the better part of 50 years.

Welcome to the Ad Couch with Jake McKenzie, CEO of the Intermark Group ad agency.

About the Show:
Take a journey through the world of creative psychology and group imagination. Each Ad Couch episode puts a different concept, brand or expert “on the couch” to analyze how:

  • Different brands and agencies are effectively leveraging creative psychology to move consumer behavior
  • Principles of psychology can be used by marketers and advertisers to build movements and produce change
  • Influencers are changing the course of advertising through applied psychology
  • Pop culture impacts markets and the power of ideas

About the Host:

The Ad Couch is led by Jake McKenzie, whose targeted expertise is helping brands incorporate creative psychology into their marketing and advertising strategies in order to influence consumer behavior.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science, McKenzie is now the CEO of Intermark Group, one of the Southeast’s leading advertising agencies. Under his leadership, the agency has built a strategy team known as the “Insight Team” that includes a Ph.D. in psychology to facilitate applied psychology advertising methods and enhance brands’ success.

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