Anti-smoking campaigns unwittingly encourage people to smoke. Product placement in films rarely works. Many multi-million pound advertising campaigns are a complete waste of time. Subliminal advertising may have been banned but it's all around us. Our brains respond to brands in almost exactly the same way as they respond to religion. These are just a few of the findings of Martin Lindstrom's groundbreaking study of what really makes us, the consumers, tick. Convinced that there is a gulf between what we believe influences us and what actually does, he set up a highly ambitious research project that employed the very latest in brain-scanning technology and called on the services of some 2000 volunteers. Buyology shares the fruits of this research, revealing for the first time what actually goes on inside our heads when we see an advertisement, hear a marketing slogan, taste two rival brands of drink, or watch a programme sponsored by a major company. The conclusions are both startling and groundbreaking, showing the extent to which we deceive ourselves when we think we are making rational choices, and revealing factors as varied as childhood memories, religious belief, even our sense of smell, that come together to influence our decisions and shape our tastes.