Research News United States

Millward Brown, Affectiva: A new way to test emotional responses to ads

LISLE, US: Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research and Affectiva, a leading emotion measurement technology company recently announced a partnership that will enable brand owners to gain deeper insight into the emotional impact of their TV advertising, by integrating Affectiva's facial expression analysis technology (Affdex) with Millward Brown's LinkTM ad copy-evaluation and optimisation solution.
Millward Brown, Affectiva: A new way to test emotional responses to ads

Millward Brown's Link copy testing solutions are the ad development tools of choice among the world's leading advertisers for over 20 years. Now brand owners can benefit from more granular data on which messages interest, amuse or confuse viewers through the inclusion of Affdex, which detects facial and head movements through a webcam and classifies them into emotional states. Because Affdex measures moment-by-moment, nonverbal communication, it captures additional diagnostics that surveys may miss, and it also works across cultures and geographical boundaries.

Emotional response

"Describing feelings in detail is never easy. By adding facial expression analysis to Link, brand owners can get at the emotional response that people might not be able to articulate in surveys," said Graham Page, executive vice president of Millward Brown's neuroscience practice. "By building this technology into our surveys, we can make non-verbal emotional measurement truly scalable and cost effective for the first time."

Millward Brown and Affectiva have already worked together to research brand campaigns using this integrated approach on four continents, which includes using mobile phones in India to collect viewers' responses.

"We already see world-class companies benefit from combining Link with Affdex to improve the emotional connection that consumers have with their brands," said Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and chief technology officer at Affectiva. "Our science accelerates with every new facial response we encounter, making it very exciting to work with Millward Brown to drive the widespread use of Affdex."

Affectiva is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off founded in 2009 by Professor Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. and research scientist Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D. to commercialise emotion technology inventions developed at the MIT Media lab including facial expression recognition technology originally invented by Dr. el Kaliouby.


Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research, has been in the business of brands for more than 35 years. The company aims to help clients build strong brands and services through research-based consultancy. With 79 offices in 51 countries, the company claims to work with 90% of the top 100 global brands.

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