Apple fanboys are sometimes referred to as “zealots” or “fanatics” in terms of their devotion to their beloved brand and the intensity with which they defend it and proselytize its virtues. Especially in online comments sections. And it turns out that perhaps those descriptions are not too far off. A recently screened BBC doc Secrets of the Superbrands (unfortunately not available for online streaming in the States) analyzed an MRI of an Apple devotee and found that the brand stimulated the same areas of the brain as religious imagery does to people of faith.
The presenter Alex Riley got the editor of World of Apple, Alex Brooks, who claims to think about Apple 24 hours a day, to undergo an MRI. Scientists studied the reaction of his brain when exposed to images of Apple products and non-Apple products. When he was looking at Apple stuff, the areas of his brain lit up in the same way as religious people’s do when shown faith-based imagery.
“This suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion,” says one of the scientists.
Perhaps. Or, as the doc says, “Like Apple, mobile phones and social networks offer an opportunity for us to express our basic human need to communicate. And it’s by tapping into our basic needs, like gossip, religion or sex that these brands are taking over our world at such lightning speed.”
Is there a “Superbrand” that you worship on an emotional level that surpasses the raw basic value its products provide? Sound off in the comments.