If asked to draw or pick out the Apple logo, do you think you could? Take a look at the pictures of the Apple logos and put your knowledge to the test:
Although the Apple logo is one of the most famous logos in the world, if you are like most people, you struggled to choose the correct logo…without cheating! (The answer is the apple in the middle on the last line, to put you out of your misery.)
A new study from UCLA published last month found this lack of recognition effect amongst both Apple and PC users and offered an explanation of their findings.
The study found that despite expressing high confidence in their ability to recognise the Apple logo, only 47% of participants chose the correct one, with no significant difference between Apple and PC users. How has a logo that is so prominently advertised, that people come into contact with very frequently, and that was designed to be recognisable become so unrecognisable?
According to the authors, the unrecognizability is due to a “form of attentional saturation”, which leads to “inattentional amnesia”. The study states that due to the logo’s simplicity and ubiquity, people stop noticing the details because their brain tells them they don’t need to. As we see it everyday, and therefore don’t need to memorise the details, our brains use an “efficient and adaptive memory system” to avoid storing unnecessary information. We just remember the gist of the logo.
Unfortunately for advertisers, these findings show how frequent exposure does not always lead to deep, accurate visual memories; but does show how clever our brains are to constantly adapting to our new environments.