TEDGlobal 2010

What physics taught me about marketing: Dan Cobley on TED.com

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Physics and marketing don’t seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley is passionate about both. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton’s second law, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to explain the fundamental theories of branding. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2010, July 2010 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 7:39)

Watch Dan Cobley’s talk on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 700+ TEDTalks.

Comments (5)

  • Gary Bezella commented on Feb 5 2014

    Sometimes the key element really is to be able to put your marketing strategy and analysis in a framework. Physics is a perfect framework. On another physics note, we created a great creative tool that factors in the speed of passing cars and determines what size sign you need. Advertising is all about creativity: http://www.promotesigns.com/outdoor-sign-size-tool.php

  • bruce k commented on Mar 18 2011

    one can only hope that he will not invent the marketing equivalent of nuclear energy. ;-)

  • bruce k commented on Mar 18 2011

    Interesting marketing ploy, but I think this guy did not really understand his physics or scientific method … science and marketing are sort of by nature at odds … science is about objective fact, and marketing is about lying.

    Look at BP … they got their nice bright new logo to tell us how ecological they were, and then look under the rug and there’s lots of dirt, not to mention oil. Or the marketing of Barack Obama as a Progressive. I think this is really about trying to market people that marketing itself is cool. I wish everyone was as skeptical as me, to me marketing is about pushing the limits of lying and taking advantage of stupid or unwary people.

  • Kevin Donlin commented on Oct 26 2010

    Excellent. Marketing viewed from a physicist’s perspective is bound to produce breakthroughs … just as rock and roll viewed from an artist’s perspective produced the Velvet Underground :-)

    • bruce k commented on Mar 18 2011

      What’s a “breakthrough” … more trust of BP and more consumers of McDonald’s I suppose?