Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, is a world-renowned and widely published expert in the field of consumer behavior, with a strong focus on improving nutrition. Some of his work has led to "the introduction of smaller '100 calorie' packages (to prevent overeating), the use of taller glasses in bars (to prevent the over-pouring of alcohol), and the use of elaborate names and mouth-watering descriptions in many chain restaurant menus (to improve enjoyment of the food)," according to his bio on Cornell's site. Pacific Standard has covered some of his innovative work.
On the less impressive side of things, Wansink is, by his own admission, "a mediocre saxophone player."
Incidentally, Wansink is also an amateur auteur who delights in highlighting his and his colleagues' research in video format. Most of the films are of very low production quality and feature Wansink delivering descriptions of research in long, continuous, stand-up shots with no b-roll. But what they lack in glamor and artistic vision, they more than make up for in high enthusiasm, wild gesticulation, zany expressiveness, and corny catch phrases. Below are some highlights from his thoughtful oeuvre.
Here, Wansink simply expresses his excitement about how people perceive vegetable cooks. The video stars his face and looks to be set in someone's backyard:
Wansink stumbles into an all-you-can-eat Taipei buffet and describes how they get customers to leave:
Here's Wansink as a foreign salad correspondent:
Here's one where a lunch lady just stares awkwardly in the background, not knowing what to do as Wansink launches into his soliloquy:
Incredible soundtrack and pondering of "chocolate milk consequences." We covered the study associated with this video:
The prolonged wink:
I'd really like to see what Wansink could create with a Hollywood-sized budget. —Ryan Jacobs