Current Issue Summary
Dec 2020 (Vol. 60, Issue 4):
Why Do Some Advertisements Get Shared More than Others? Quantifying Facial Expressions to Gain New Insights
Companies across industries are working to harness the power of social sharing. So, how can they design advertisements that are more likely to be shared in social media? The key lies in understanding why some ads get shared more than others, particularly online video ads. This is the focus of new research by Daniel McDuff (Microsoft Research) and Jonah Berger (University of Pennsylvania Wharton School). Specifically, the authors examined the link between consumer facial expressions and sharing. “Facial analysis provides an unobtrusive way of measuring emotional reactions that can be performed quickly, easily and cheaply at scale,” they note. With this in mind, the authors designed a “custom facial action detection algorithm and demonstrated that it can reliably predict emotional expression.” They were able to quantify the “facial expressions of thousands of individuals in response to hundreds of video advertisements,” and they “tested which emotional expressions are most linked to sharing.”
Among the findings:
- Not all emotions increase sharing, and the relationship between emotion and transmission is more complex than valence alone.
- Arousal seems to drive the relationship between emotions and sharing, so that high-arousal emotions increase sharing and low-arousal emotions decrease it.
- Facial expressions provide a valuable tool to predict and understand consumer behavior and can be measured in a scalable manner, using an Internet-based framework.
Read the full article here.