How Big Data Replaced Don Draper

New Analytical Tools Are Making Ads More Effective—and Invasive—Than Ever

In the 1970s, I took a careful look at Oreos. Not the cookies themselves, mind you, but the way they were sold; I was an econometrics student at the University of Antwerp, in Belgium, and I was studying the effects of advertising and pricing on the sales of Nabisco’s famed sweets and those of its competitors. It didn’t take me long to realize that the impact of advertising, even though positive, was much weaker than that of price changes. So why was Nabisco spending so much on ads?

That’s when I …

This Is Your Brain on Health Propaganda

Taking a Moment to Nod to Some Truly Effective Public Health Campaigns

Ever since we’ve had our brains compared to sizzling eggs on pans, we at Zócalo have enjoyed health propaganda. Sometimes, it even works. But when? It turns out that public …