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  • Fear affects the way we feel about brands
  • Fear affects the way we feel about brands
    Leo Hidalgo, Creative Commons (2015) ©

I’m scared! The science of fear

What scares you? Horror movies? Conspiracy theories? A former reality star running America? Fear is a long-used marketing tool, and research suggests it can enhance the emotional connection people feel with brands. Canvas8 spoke to Lea Dunn of the Foster School of Business to find out how.

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You’re sitting at home alone watching a scary movie. The film is at a crucial moment – the killer is just about to take their next victim – your pupils dilate, your heart rate increases and adrenaline is dispersed through your body. As this happens, you scoop another spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream into your mouth. Now, not only are your taste receptors buzzing, but your emotional connection to that particular brand has just increased, having had a shared experience with it in a fearful state.

Our biological responses to situations like these define our ...



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