Terrie Koles, an interior designer and fine art advisor, received an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art and studied privately in Florence, Italy. She also spent more than a decade working in advertising and created the 3-D design for the Sensory Safari program.

The program known as the Sensory Safari grew out of the recognition that nonverbal communication sometimes provides a greater understanding of customers’ reactions to an advertisement for a particular product or service than other metrics. Employing as many senses as possible, Sensory Safari invites participants to create collages with objects such as lollipops, flowers, feather boas, coffee beans, scented oils, and Barbie dolls to express their feelings about products, advertisements, or even an entire brand. One application of this program included four tables with collage objects separated according to the senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste.

Although this approach may seem strange, its success derives from the way the human psyche works. Consumers may not know exactly how they feel about something on a conscious level, but creating even such a simple work of art can unlock their subconscious feelings. Since those feelings determine their likelihood to purchase a product, this method can greatly benefit businesses.

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