In May 1913, Igor Stravinsky launched The Rite of Spring (Original Title: Le sacre du printemps). Now regarded as one of Stravinsky's most beautiful works, this ballet initially triggered harsh criticism and negative reactions. Watch this fMRI scan to enjoy the music, while seeing how it riots in our brain.
The Rite of Spring was launched at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on May 29 in 1913. The ballet loving public in those days was accustomed to grace, elegance, and traditional music of 'conventional' ballets. Within the first few minutes members of the audience booed openly in response to the unconventional notes accompanying the bizarre bassoon's opening. As the ballet progressed, so did people's discomfort. Those in favor of Stravinksy's work clashed with those in opposition. The clash turned to brawls and the police was notified. As the second half commenced, police were unable to keep the people under control and rioting resumed.
Rite of Spring changed ballet in the 21st century. Ballet was supposed to be beautiful, elegant, and charming. People were used to ballet like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Rite of Spring introduced new thinking in music, dance, and story. Today, it is considered to be a milestone in the history of ballet.
A similar phenomenon is now happening with regard to branding research. At BR-ND we recently started using fMRI scanning (Neurobranding) to measure brain activity as we want to get better clues of the emotional appeal op branding. The premise is that brand appeal occurs in split seconds in the more subconscious and emotional parts of the brain. We have started experimenting with these new techniques as we believe that traditional qualitative research is flawed as people don't know, can't articulate, or will even lie in a focus group about their feelings. Neurobranding research removes subjectivity and ambiguity as it simply measures observable brain behavior. For one of our most innovative clients we are in the process of creating a new brand symbolism and the decision for the final symbolism will be highly influenced by the 'unrational' findings of our Neurobranding research. And yes, these recent findings of Neurobranding often points in complete opposite direction of the traditional research we ran in parallel.
By the way, at BR-ND we love ballet, unconventinal thinking and people engagement.