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Improving Product Sales Predictions Is Brain Science

  • MSI

It’s no surprise that new product launches often fail to meet their targets. The trick for managers is to improve their predictions for such products. They must balance the costs and benefits of many different data sources and analytic techniques in order to improve forecasting. To enhance the accuracy of predicting the market-level sales of new products, researchers Marton Varga, Anita Tusche, Paulo Albuquerque, Nadine Gier, Bernd Weber, and Hilke Plassmann, analyzed the added value of different data types. Their conclusions are illuminating.

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  • Article

NYCU: Audio and Visual Messages Work Well Together

A study assessed the impact of seeing audio messages on attention to and engagement with visual messages. It found that radio ads had a positive impact on the same ads on TV or as a website banner.

The research paper is called, "The Theater of the Mind: The Effect of Radio Exposure on TV Advertising," and is by Vincenzo Russo, Riccardo Valesi, Anna Gallo, Rita Laureanti and Margherita Zito, at the Università IULM, Milan, Italy. It confirms key findings of the ARF's "How Advertising Works" project. Campaigns using more than one medium are likely to be more effective than those using only one. This study, utilizing neuroscience-based methods, found that participants who had been exposed to radio ads spent a longer time looking at the brand and had a higher engagement when watching the same advertisements on television or as website banners. The authors conclude that exposure to a radio advertisement enhances the effectiveness of the same advertisement via TV or web.

Source: Social Sciences (2020, July 15). "The Theater Of The Mind": The Effect Of Radio Exposure On TV Advertising. MPDI.

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How Facial Expressions Can Predict Ad Sharing

  • Daniel McDuff, Microsoft Research; Jonah Berger, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania -- JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

Why do some ads get shared more than others on social media? This study used facial coding algorithms to quantify the facial expressions of thousands of individuals in response to video ads. The findings help advertisers predict how different emotions influence sharing, and provide a deeper understanding of the complexities between emotion and transmission.

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  • Article

NYCU: Do Your Ads Talk Too Fast?

A paper in the most recent issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) adresses a subject that rarely garners attention in ad effectiveness research: the role of “speech rate.” Speech rate plays a critical role in understanding speech and therefore it’s a crucial element for  comprehending advertising messages. Announcers tend to speak fast in radio and television commercials. Can this pace affect consumers' cognitive processing? This study analyzes the effects of different speech rates (160, 180, and 200 words per minute) on the effectiveness of commercials, physiological arousal and attention, emotional valence, and recall and recognition of information with respect to audio advertisements. The results showed that speech rate influenced cognitive processing and modified the consumer's physiological response. The commercials at a moderate rate—180 words per minute—achieved the best results. These findings suggest that the announcer's rate should be adjusted to achieve the best results for consumer information processing. Source: Rodero, E.,  (2020, September).  Do Your Ads Talk Too Fast To Your Audio Audience? How Speech Rates of Audio Commercials Influence Cognitive and Physiological Outcomes. JAR  

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NYCU: Why Do People Watch So Much TV & Video?

A new study uses neuroscience data to explore the enduring popularity of TV and video. It finds that devices for viewing are changing, but that people’s need to relax and escape remains the same. During last week’s ARF Insights Studio event, Steven Bellman (Ehrenberg-Bass Inst.) reported on his paper, co-authored with Patrick Barwise, in the Journal of Advertising Research. The study is entitled, Implications for the Future of Viewing and Advertising. The presentation, “Why Do People Watch So Much Television and Video?” revealed some fascinating findings. Using Nielsen data on U.S. viewing behaviors over 25 years, through 2017, he found that television and video watching (including online video) increased overall. Using neuroscience-based data, Bellman explored the reason for their enduring popularity:

  • Watching TV and video meet basic human needs, especially for relaxation and escape. This is apparent in data showing that viewing generates brainwaves associated with pleasant relaxation and that it absorbs more cognitive capacity than, for example, reading and radio.
  • The paper’s authors conclude that, while platforms and devices for watching video are changing, needs for relaxation and escape are constant. They recommend that content creators, as well as advertisers, take these findings into account by offering content that is engaging, but not too complex.   
Source: Barwise, P., Bellman, S., Beal, V. (2020, June). Implications for the Future of Viewing and Advertising. Journal of Advertising Research.    

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  • Article

NYCU: MARS Unveils Insights from Research on Digital Ads

'You get 2 seconds to engage consumers online': Mars neuroscientist shares key findings, including that attention is a strong proxy for sales impact (but it’s not the only criterion). Mars, the family-owned global company behind brands like M&M’s, Wrigley’s gum, Skittles, and the like, thrives on impulse buys for many of its products. Sorin Patilinet, global consumer marketing insights director, and his team in the communications lab are investigating how to first draw attention and then create an emotional connection -- the magic formula for triggering impulse purchases. “You don't go to the store with gum on your shopping list,” says Patilinet. His team has spent the past six months working with RealEyes and other partners to develop what it calls the “future of pre-testing.” Through anonymous facial coding, it can detect attention and emotion. The team has tested 130 digital ads across key geographies from the US to China. They’ve also tested various durations ‑ six, 15, 30-seconds and long formats on YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.  This is the latest tool within one of the largest neuromarketing studies in the world, now in its fifth year. One of the biggest takeaways from it all: “Marketers would be shocked if they knew how little active attention some of their executions are getting,” says Patilinet. “They think that people watch all the 15-seconds, and then they find out that in some cases, it’s only two seconds.” In addition to the new “future of pre-testing” tool, Mars has gathered 4,000 campaigns from which they have identified a direct sales impact. They’ve done so in partnership with Nielsen, Catalina, IRI, Kantar and GFK. Of those thousands of ads, they’ve tested 250 for various elements of the cognitive process, attention, emotion, and memory. They’ve learned from the good and the bad to develop an understanding of what a “four-star ad” looks and feels like. The research shows that attention is a strong proxy for sales impact. But attention alone is not the answer, you need to elicit emotions. By building emotions, you can encode your distinctive assets into the consumer’s brain much better. And then those assets can be recalled. So the ultimate goal is memory encoding. That happens faster through emotions than through rational messages. Patilinet and his team will continue to investigate how to strike the correct balance by leveraging neuroscience. “Too many ads, too much clutter on websites has created this attitude of removing ads from your life.” Source: Hein, K. (2020, August 13). 'You get 2 seconds to engage consumers online': Mars neuroscientist shares key findings. News: The Drum.    

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Have you heard the latest regarding podcast’s and music’s impact on audio marketing? Companies that use music aligned to their brand identities are 96 percent more likely to be recalled, according to research carried out at the University of Leicester, U.K. Furthermore, podcast audiences have grown so significantly that now 51 percent of Americans ages 12 and over listen to them. That’s based on Edison Research’s “The Podcast Consumer 2019” report.

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Attention and Impact: New Insights from New Research

  • KNOWLEDGE AT HAND

Attention is a prerequisite for ad impact. But it is an ambiguous and complex concept and it is difficult to measure all its elements.  Evidence of attention can be a sign of success, but often it only means that some part of the ad was noticed. Moreover, “attention” does not necessarily indicate a positive response and a high level of attention is not always a sign of a positive ad impact.

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