Feedback

Research news

Africa

International

Research news

Science of brain signals opens new era for advertising

4 Aug 2014 08:27
PARIS, FRANCE: Companies in the near future will be able to test public reaction to advertisements, music and films before they are released by monitoring the brain signals of a select group as they watch a trial.
So say psychologists who on Tuesday unveiled the results of an unusual set of experiments into so-called neural signals.

Their idea is that by scanning brain activity in just a few individuals who watch a test commercial or TV programme, this will predict how a wider audience will also react to it.

The same method could also be applied to test political ideas on focus groups.

Reporting in the journal Nature Communications, a team led by Jacek Dmochowski at Stanford University in California asked 16 volunteers aged 19-32 to watch TV as their brain signals were recorded.

© macrovector - za.Fotolia.com
© macrovector - za.Fotolia.com
They watched the 2010 premiere episode of the popular TV series "The Walking Dead" and a set of commercials which first aired in American football's Super Bowl in 2012 and 2013.

The volunteers wore electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to monitor electrical activity in the various parts of the brain.

Blood flow

They were also scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which maps brain activity by pinpointing cerebral blood flow.

What emerged was a strong correlation in the pattern of signals, showing that the individuals were all focused - "engaged" - in what they saw.

Their level of interest matched the response of the wider public to the show and to the commercials as measured by Twitter and the Nielsen TV audience rating.

Of course, to be focused on something does not necessarily reveal whether you liked it or disliked it.

But the experiments with the Super Bowl ads provided a useful clue.

Hugely expensive commercials for the Super Bowl are usually followed up with lots of research to see whether the ads were a hit with the public or not.

"In the Super Bowl study, we observed a strong relationship between the amount of neural agreement in our sample and the popularity rating of a given ad," Dmochowski said in an email exchange with AFP.

"This tells us that, in general, stimuli which we prefer are experienced similarly in our brain as that of others."

"So at least in this experiment, a high level of neural similarity translates to 'liking' the content. However, further research is needed to fully understand what happens in our brain when we are positively versus negatively engaged."

A useful tool

After being fine-tuned, neural signalling could be a useful tool for predicting audience response, said Dmochowski.

A common marketing technique today is to try out a prototype product or new idea - including political - on a panel chosen to represent the audience which is being targeted.

The flaw, though, is that individual responses can be muddied by self-reporting, poor verbal skills or group pressure - so data that comes direct from the brain could be invaluable.

"Marketing firms will likely be the first to adopt this technology, as in this domain even a small predictive edge can translate into large value," Dmochowski said.

"It is possible that focus groups that preview new advertisements will soon include measurements of brain signals in addition to subjective self-reports."

He added: "Yet another possibility is music production, where multiple versions of a particular song can be evaluated by measuring the neural responses of a group of listeners.

"In general, any application in which one seeks to forecast the population response to some content could benefit from the method."

Source: AFP, via I-Net Bridge


SOURCE

I-Net Bridge
For more than two decades, I-Net Bridge has been one of South Africa’s preferred electronic providers of innovative solutions, data of the highest calibre, reliable platforms and excellent supporting systems. Our products include workstations, web applications and data feeds packaged with in-depth news and powerful analytical tools empowering clients to make meaningful decisions.

We pride ourselves on our wide variety of in-house skills, encompassing multiple platforms and applications. These skills enable us to not only function as a first class facility, but also design, implement and support all our client needs at a level that confirms I-Net Bridge a leader in its field.
Go to: http://www.inet.co.za
    
 
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.
Seth Whitehead
As I was reading this posted I was thinking that surely this has been going on for years. I'm glad to see that John and Laurie thought the same. The fMRI is exceptionally great technology. Fascinating stuff to read.
Posted on 6 Aug 2014 13:35
Laurie Vogt
Laurie Vogt
Martin Lindstrom in his book 'Buyology' talked about this in 2008. Neuromarketing is not new and imaging responses through fMRI and neuroimaging has been feasible for some time. Like most research, its a matter of cost.,
Posted on 4 Aug 2014 15:42
John Laurence
We have been measuring neural response to commercials for several of the largest brands in South Africa for 3 years now. Email me to find out more - john@headspacenm.com
Posted on 4 Aug 2014 08:52

News