Braynz Nudging experiments on the DDMA Data Day

Those present will have seen them when they enter the plenary hall: the green footsteps that lead you to the front rows. In the context of stimulating good behavior, Braynz conducted several nudging experiments during the DDMA Data Day on November 10 in Pakhuis de Zwijger. Wondering if we could have influenced the behavior of the marketing experts? Read on!

Do footsteps lead to a different choice of location?

You’ve probably seen it before: the doors of the hall open and the audience takes place behind. As soon as the back and the middle rows fill up, only a few people take a hesitant place in the front of the room. Some latecomers who see that only the front rows are still free will even stand in the back of the room, to the annoyance of the speaker and organization. How can we encourage guests to take a seat in front of the hall?

By placing footsteps in a certain direction, it is possible to influence people unconsciously and let them follow a certain path. For example, IKEA applies these footsteps to their stores to allow customers to walk the walking route through the store they want. Other researchers such as Pelle G. Hansen of InudgeYou have also successfully used footsteps to steer people. Footsteps increase the visibility of the desired walking route.

In order to have the DDMA guests take place in the front hall, we have followed this example by placing footsteps that are directed in the direction of the front rows. The result: one automatically walks forward more, making the room proportionately full and one chooses for a place in the front. Very nice for the speaker! On the other side of the room where no footsteps were placed, we saw that the front rows clearly remained empty or even completely empty.

Do you want to see evidence? You can: watch the video here.

How do we keep the toilet clean?

A dirty toilet is of course never nice, but at the end of the day (especially at a large event) toilets can often get very dirty. During a busy day with many toilet visits we, the guests, unconsciously influence each other. Are you leaving the toilet dirty? Then the next toilet visitor will probably do his best to leave the toilet clean. Fortunately, by determining the social norm (social proof) we can try to keep people nudging em> clean the toilet. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon in which one assumes that the behavior of others is correct for the given situation. By throwing a toilet paper on the floor in a clean toilet you set a new standard for the visitors who will follow.

Based on (above) knowledge, we as neuromarketers wanted to test the power of social proof in practice. How? The team of Braynz has given half of the women’s toilets a fresh lemon scent to enhance the perception of the beauty and in the other half of the toilets the floors are smeared with one wad of toilet paper and drops of water. The effect of social proof was clearly visible at the end of the DDMA day: we found the fresh, lemon scented ladies’ toilets in neat condition, while the other toilets had become even dirtier.


What cookie do you take with your coffee?

Can you influence choice behavior when the choice options are actually exactly the same? That sounds very strange, of course, but it is possible. Our ‘reptilian brain’ determines our choices and behavior to a large extent, and that is precisely why we can influence our behavior. From the reptilian brain, man has a strong preference for diversity, which stems from the past when the food was scarce. We were curious whether we could test this unconscious preference for diversity during the DDMA Data Day. We did this by letting the guests choose between two plates with cookies. One plate consisted of biscuits of different shapes and the other plate of cookies with the same shapes. And what turned out? The plate with a ‘diversity’ of cookies was empty much faster.


We look back on a very successful day where we have been able to test our theories and influencing tactics in a fun way. Conclusion: the behavior of the marketing experts can certainly be influenced. Curious about the timelapse movie of the incoming guests who show their way through the footsteps? Then look at our LinkedIn page!

Do you also want to influence the behavior of your audience? Or want to know how you can increase your conversion through neuromarketing? Contact us via or call 06-53942457