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What Makes a Television Commercial Sell? – Using Biometrics to Identify Successful Ads via JAR

This study demonstrates the potential of certain neurological measures—in particular, biometrics—to identify television advertisements that successfully lead to sales. The researchers, who represent academia and industry, used direct measures of what they believe matters most to marketers: in-market sales response (from single-source data).

Key Takeaways:

  • Biometrics have the potential to help advertisers understand how sales-successful advertisements work, yet there is no silver-bullet measure to gauge effectiveness
  • The ultimate goal of brand advertisements is to sell; therefore, testing tools must be validated against sales or other relevant behavioral measures
  • Advertisers should establish in advance the desired audience response from any advertisement (e.g. laughter or attention to the brand) and use evidence-supported measures and analysis to ensure the desired response is achieved
  • Key biometrics and objective coding seem useful under defined conditions, whereas traditional survey measures offer no additional value


To access this paper in its entirety, please go to thearf.org website and follow these 3 steps:

  • Login to your myARF
  • Click on “Journal of Advertising Research” on the left hand side menu
  • Locate the article (in italics below) in the search field on the page