EP 055: Dreams: the next frontier for advertising? – Dr Sara C. Mednick

dreams and advertising


Imagine if corporations could place adverts for their products inside your dreams. It may sound like far-fetched science fiction, but amazingly, science and technology has reached the point where this possibility may be around the corner.

Earlier this year, the beer company Molson-Coors tried an experiment based on cutting edge research known as ‘targeted dream activation’. Amazingly participants reported dreaming more of Coors beer after consuming audio and video content specifically designed to ‘induce’ images of beer into the participant’s dreams.

Concerned about the possibilities of dreams becoming the playground for unscrupulous marketers, or even as a means of societal manipulation, a group of sleep and dream researchers recently published an open letter, describing the ethical issues at stake, if we longer have sovereign control of our own dreams.

This episode’s guest:

Sara C Mednick

Dr Sara C. Mednick is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine and author of the book, Take a Nap! Change your life. . She is passionate about understanding how the brain works through her research into sleep and cognition. Dr. Mednick’s seven-bedroom sleep lab at UCI works literally around-the-clock to discover methods for boosting cognition through a range of different interventions including napping, brain stimulation with electricity, sound and light, as well as pharmacological interventions. Her research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets. She received a PhD in Psychology from Harvard University, and then completed a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego.

Links

Website: http://www.saramednick.com/

Sleep and Cognition Lab:  http://sleepandcognitionlab.org/

Other resources:

MIT Dream Engineering group: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/theme-engineering-dreams/overview/

Coors beer promotion: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jul/05/advertisers-targeted-dream-incubation

Open letter: https://dxe.pubpub.org/pub/dreamadvertising/release/1

Google Nest 2: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56416578

Amazon sleep tracker: https://www.cnet.com/home/smart-home/amazon-gets-waiver-from-fcc-to-monitor-sleep-with-a-radar-sensor/

Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/dreams-and-advertising/