Marketers Tap Not-So-Secret Research Weapon: Hypnosis,Advertising Age, June 18, 2012. "Hal Goldberg's] mission is to find , via hypnosis, the initial "imprints" that brands make on consumers and use those imprints to build marketing strategies, create new product lines, add fresh insight for agency pitches or simply reaffirm brand connections. . . Hypnosis can remove many of the traditional stumbling blocks of focus groups such as dominant respondents taking control , inaccurate recollections, overly cautious and emotionally guarded subjects."
Retail Enchantment,The Robin Report, February 24, 2016: "When I [Kate Newlin] wrote “Shopportunity!", I worked with a business colleague [Hal Goldberg] to mine the meaning of shopping as a powerful form of human engagement. We hypnotized (yes hypnotized) consumers and asked them to tell us three stories about their shopping experiences: their first, their most powerful and their most recent. This technique, which we’ve used in a wide variety of categories, allows us to eradicate the static that we hear in a more typical focus group setting. Using hypnosis, we regress participants back in time to capture memories they would not normally be able to recall."
You Are Getting Creative...Very Creative ,Business Week Magazine, May 12, 2008: "The quest for new ideas is also keeping corporate hypnotist Hal Goldberg busy. Requests are up 50% this year at his Laguna Woods (California) firm, which has conducted consumer focus groups for Campbell Soup. Hypnosis, he says, works by making people ultra-relaxed—through breathing, meditation, and visualization. In that state, people are less inhibited, says Goldberg, and may offer “their craziest ideas, which are sometimes the best.” Hypnotized folks can also better recall past experiences, he claims—a boon because “many great ideas are hitchhikes on previous knowledge.”
Hypnosis Brings Groups into Focus, BrandWeek Magazine, March 23, 2008: "Focus group hypnosis is increasingly becoming a "secret weapon" for Fortune 500 companies and ad agencies alike. . . ‘Hypnosis helped get past the clichés. We needed the conversation to get to a deeper, more emotional place. . . It's about getting emotional content that is so much more vivid and colorful.’ (Michael Fanuele, Head of Planning at EuroRSCG).
Shopportunity ! , by Kate Newlin, 2006, Collins Publishing:”Through each two –and-a-half hour session [Hal] calmly excavates memory, meaning and mayhem from the web of associations that filter our choices when we shop. . . Hal Goldberg and the shoppers he hypnotized unearthed with me the underpinnings, the ‘thing behind the thing,’ we search for in all shopping, from the boring routine to the resonate cultural ritual.”
Using hypnosis in focus groups, QRCA Views Magazine, Winter, 2004: “In Hypnosis Focus Groups respondents will share their true emotions and feelings in connection with their beliefs and actions. We can also dig down beneath their emotional reactions to discover underlying premises.”
Under the spell of ambition,Financial Times, October 24, 2002,: “In focus groups, Mr. Goldberg says people self-consciously hide emotional responses behind something falsely rational – hypnosis removes inhibitions.”
Zippo’s ad agency uses hypnosis to enhance market research, Associated Press, June 11, 2002: “Insights that came out of the focus groups will likely shape the lighter maker’s advertising campaign for the next year.”
Focus on the benefits, Harvard Business School Publishing Newsletter, April, 2002: “Savvy firms like P & G and General Motors are moving away from the traditional focus group. Jenny Craig used [Hal Goldberg] a certified hypnotist as a moderator to age-regress focus group members back to their early childhood memories of being overweight. The results yielded more effective advertising.”
Exploring the depths of consumers’ minds with hypnosis, Newsweek Japan, February 20, 2002: “Goldberg says that childhood memories will influence the person’s behavior after he becomes an adult: 'If you can identify experiences that are shared by many people, then copywriters, artists and persons in charge of marketing can use this information.’”
Focus-Group Hypnosis – One of the 80 Ideas that shook the world in 2001, New York Times Magazine Section, December 9, 2001: “ Goldberg has found one way to reach what he claims is a new level of consumer honesty . . . With hypnosis, he says, consumers’ true emotional ties to products emerge. He has even performed hypnotic brainstorming sessions intended to tap into consumers’ creative ideas.”
Hal Goldberg and Hypnosis Focus Groups, BBC Choice Television, London, November 19, 2001: “Hal takes his subjects back to their childhood to find out how brands affected them.”
Retail Therapy, New Scientist Magazine, February 17, 2001: "The possibility of direct access to past experiences is tantalising for advertisers. Want to know how people felt about their first bite of a certain chocolate bar? Want to create an ad that taps into the nostalgia for a particular brand of bicycle? Goldberg says age-regression is the answer, and many major clients have taken him up on it. Under hypnosis, his subjects have vividly recalled such distant and mundane childhood experiences as their first bite of a particular pudding , or getting their hair washed in the bath by their mothers (for a shampoo manufacturer)."
How MTV stays tuned in to Teens,Wall Street Journal , March 21, 2000: "Tom Freston, CEO of MTV:: 'In the case of TV Land and Nick at Nite, which is classic TV, we went out to Las Vegas and we hypnotized the young baby boomers and the older baby boomers . . . We played these two groups some old commercials, and played them old TV shows while they were under hypnosis and asked them to remember what it was like watching TV when they were seven, and when they were in their teens. Because some of what we do is take old shows and try to put a spin on them and make an environment that forges a connection.'"
Hypnotist probes buyers' psyches for deep feelings, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 18, 1999: "The woman at the table is distraught after plumbing her subconscious for true feelings about. . . frozen pizza. 'I put a pizza in the oven and nobody (in the fami1y) is happy ,' she says in hypnosis-induced monotone. 'I feel guilty because I wasn't able to plan the day better to be able to make a dinner (my husband) liked.' Score another successful trek into consumers' subterranean depths by Hal Goldberg, a business consultant who likes to take focus groups way down under to mine their innermost secrets about product packaging, taste and loyalty”
Domain Chandon looks beyond the celebrations,Ad Age, July 19, 1999: "California sparkling winemaker Domain Chandon, in an attempt to bubble beyond the millennium hype, next month launches an ad campaign developed in part by hypnotized focus group respondents. . . With regular focus groups, explained Terry Balagia, executive creative director at D'Arcy, 'you get rational answers, when in fact sparkling wine consumption is emotional and inside driven.'"
You are getting sleepy,American Demographics Magazine, December 1999: "Stuart Grau, director of brand planning at New York ad agency Avrett, Free & Ginsberg hired Hal Goldberg to conduct mesmerizing focus groups to assess two new Dewars campaigns. . . .Under hypnosis, respondents confessed that they want to be cool and that drinking scotch with friends is one way to feel that way. Some said they feel like they've grown up or become members of a different club now that they drink Dewar's, even though it's perceived as a drink for oldsters."
The Return of the Hidden Persuaders,Salon.com, September 27, 1999: " Shell [Oil] is only the latest blue-chip company to conclude that the secret to a healthy bottom line lies not in tracking surveys or usage studies, but in the murky depths of the consumer unconscious. Hal Goldberg, the California-based hypnotist who conducted the focus groups for Shell , agrees that today's far-seeing executive will route all appeals through the consumer subconscious."
Mesmerizing method gets real results, American Marketing Association Marketing News, July 20, 1998: "Bozell Worldwide Advertising agency used the technique to extract information for a personal care product geared to 14-18 year-old girls - a group that tends to be self-conscious about looks, said Michelle Purcell, account planner at Bozell's Costa Mesa, Calif. office. In the hypnotic focus group, 'The girls were a lot more honest about the positive perceptions of their looks,' Purcell said."
Scrutinizing Shoppers' Subconscious,The Los Angeles Times, January 15, 1998: "La Bonte [Account Director at Townsend & O'Leary] said the agency , though skeptical, decided to try hypnosis in search of honest answers from consumers. The effect of hypnosis on focus group participants, he said, was 'like a shot of sodium Pentathol.'"
Hocus Focus,New York Times Magazine, June 1, 1997: "Goldberg is pushing an offbeat new idea - using recovered memory techniques to spelunk the minds of purchasers"
Marketers seek the 'naked' truth in consumer psyches,Wall Street Journal, May 30, 1997: "In a recent project for . . . J. Walter Thompson, . . Mr. Goldberg placed eight people in a trance and asked them to remember their first long-distance phone call . . . The analysis of such revelations: People's first long-distance chats were 'almost as significant in their lives as the murder of JFK,' declares Barbara Wingate, an account-planning director at Thompson."
Using Hypnosis in Focus Groups,Through the Looking Glass: An ARF Account Planners' Workshop, May 1997: " An example of how new product ideas can come out of a hypnosis session is illustrated by the following: I asked a respondent to visualize the last time she made a tuna fish sandwich, and describe the process to me. She mentioned that she put tuna fish , mayonnaise and onions on the sandwich. When I asked her why she put onions on it, she commented that tuna sandwiches are bland and that onions help the flavor. From this comment I got the idea for developing a line of flavored mayonnaise products."
Articles About Scientific Hypnosis
The scientific foundation of hypnosis is being continually validated by major universities, hospitals and corporations in many ongoing research studies. Since 1958 when the American Medical Association recognized hypnosis as a therapeutic technique, it has been one of the fastest growing research areas.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN ARTICLE: "HOW THE UNCONSCIOUS RULES BEHAVIOR"
Click below to read this article by John A. Bargh, Professor at Yale: