A book published in 2002 has become important to the thinking of the Ford of Europe marketing department. The Hidden Power of Advertising by British marketing expert Robert Heath is mandatory reading for senior marketing executives at Ford Motor Co. and its ad agency Ogilvy & Mather.
"This book has given us a deeper insight," says Matthias Kunst, manager of marketing, communications and training at Ford of Europe.
The book's premise is that advertising most influences consumers when they don't think about it. Ads that try to logically persuade viewers of the merits of a product don't work.
Heath argues that people don't pay attention to advertisements or think about them rationally. But human brains absorb information even when they aren't really interested or paying attention - what Heath calls "low involvement processing."