According to a study done by Duke University and the University of Waterloo, it can.
The study, which is to be published in April, found that exposure to well-known brands, even for a second, can cause us to behave in ways similar to the traits of the companies. 341 students took part in the experiment which consisted of flashing either an IBM or Apple logo so quickly, that the research subject was unaware what logo they had just seen. They were then asked to list all the uses of a brick beyond building a wall. The results? The students who were shown the Apple logo came up with more unusual uses for the brick, as opposed to those shown the IBM logo.
If the researchers are correct in saying that we can be influenced by advertising even when we are not aware of the fact, these results are not surprising. Anyone who is reading this blog right now knows that Apple has long since associated itself with creativity, and innovation. IBM on the other hand is almost the opposite of Apple in brand recognition.
The whole article is an interesting read, and I’m sure there must be a way for us to use this sub-concious recognition to our advantage…