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Brands That Offer Eye Contact Have Serious Durability

May 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Turns out, eye contact – even from cartoon mascots on children’s cereal boxes and oatmeal canisters – is crucial to making connections with people and food products. Recent research into the importance of eye contact suggests that a lack of it in infancy may explain conditions as autism and schizophrenia. Eye contact makes people more socially aware and empathetic, and it can also lead to better health outcomes in doctor-patient relationships (if the doctor in fact looks at the patient rather than a laptop). It’s no surprise, then, that food brands that use characters – Aunt Jemima, Chef Boyardee, Uncle Ben, the Gerber baby, etc. – have been around a long time, while competitors without eye contact have vanished.
Kate Murphy, "Psst. Look Over Here.", The New York Times , May 16, 2014, © The New York Times Company
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