The ARF AT ADVERTISING WEEK – Neuroscience leads to great creative in mobile

The ARF held 2 presentations at last month’s New York Advertising Week Conference. The following content was from the second presentation on using Neuroscience to optimize mobile advertising. Here are some excerpts from that event:

Gayle Fuguitt, President & CEO, The ARF
The ARF has been engaged in Neuroscience since 2010. Among the issues are how brands are built in the brain. What is the emotional connectedness of advertising to consumer responses?

Dr. Manuel Garcia-Garcia, SVP, Research & Innovation, The ARF
We conducted original Neuroscience experiments. Among the key findings are unified creative across platforms delivers more emotional engagement and better memory for the advertising. At the same time, it is important to adjust your creative to the platform – an effective TV ad may not work well on mobile. 62% of campaigns are not using mobile in the optimum way.

People use ad-blockers because they want to be in control. They don’t want to be disrupted. Create ad experiences that create value.

Dr. Horst Stipp, EVP, Global Ad Effectiveness, The ARF
There’s have been a lot of f improvements in Neuroscience research in the last five years.

These neuroscience methods allow second by second analysis of commercials of which really helps to improve the creative.

Dr. Duane Varan, CEO, MediaScience
Realistic mobile testing in people’s own environment is a challenge. But we now can test ads that we inject into users’ (mobile) feeds, creating more realistic conditions in the lab.

Everybody is unique physiologically so there’s an enormous amount of work we have to do to calibrate that individual difference.

Pranav Yadav, CEO, Neuro-Insight
We are bringing science to measurement of content and ads.

Most decision-making (an estimated 80%) happens in the subconscious, that’s why Neuroscience methods are so important.

We know now that when people are engaged with their mobile phones they are more emotionally engaged then when they are with TV.

People react differently to the same content on different screens.

Neha Bhargava, Advertising Research Manager, Facebook
In-market studies help explain if the ads are working, Neuro studies help explain the “why” … why people are reacting the way they are.

We found that the mobile screen, followed by TV, is more impactful.

The earlier we can see this kind of research happening and be working on it together … the more we can make use of that investment.

Phil Gaughran, US Chief Integration Office, mcgarrybowen
(Neuroscience) there’s no doubt that this is the best methodology I have used in my career. It removes many biases that have been frustrating us for a very long time.

We need to get more neuroscience into the front of the creative process.

Working in an ad agency, there is constantly a battle between arts and science.

To view the event (40 minutes) http://newyork.advertisingweek.com/replay/#date=2016-09-26~video-id=33~venue=9



Editor’s Note – first presented at AM in June. Family Co-Viewing & Ad Impact in a Multiscreen World


The deck’s sub-heading is, “Using Neuroscience to Evaluate Advertising Engagement While Co-Viewing.”

The research was comprised of five methodologies: Core Biometrics, Eye Tracking, Facial Coding, Behavioral Coding and Self-Reported information.

Four key findings:

  • Children focus on TV screen despite second screen 75% of the time
  • The 2nd screen generates higher engagement with ads, but lower attention
  • Shorter ad pods will retain children’s attention, but there’s a substantial drop in attention to ads while watching longer ad pods
  • Key conversations on advertising and content – children have strong purchase influence when exposed to products in ads.

There are four business applications as well in the complete deck.

Access full presentation

Leadership Lab: Neuroscience and Creative Development

Industry and academic experts from agencies, advertisers and research suppliers will enlighten the audience on the application of neuroscience principles and techniques to the development of creative and media planning strategy. They will discuss how to maximize the effectiveness of an advertising campaign by appealing to the consumers’ emotions, boost engagement, and ultimately increase ROI.

The guided discussion will gather professionals from agencies, advertisers and research suppliers around the value of neuroscience principles and research in the creative developments and will question the barriers to adopt it, i.e.:

  • Neuroscience principles to spark creativity
  • Value of neuroscience in the creative development
  • Application of neuroscience and in-market outcome 

Some themes being discusses in this session are:

  • How neuroscience research can support the creative process and boost creativity
  • Tracking emotional connections with your consumer at every step 
  • Affordable paths to evaluating creative ideas and executions 

“The Neuroscience Behind Creating Better Creative”- CBS/CBS Vision, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience

The evolution of market research technology over the last decade mirrors our scientific understanding of the brain and decision making that clearly concludes a large portion of brain processing occurs below our conscious awareness. The business results and impact will be of major importance in advancing the field of creative evaluation.

Among the questions this study was designed to answer:

– To what degree do neuroscience-based measures of advertising creative predict in-store sales response as gauged by single source data?

– Which neuro measures most strongly predict higher in-market sales response? 

–  What is the importance of creative evaluation in understanding in-market results?

Review the Audience Measurement program and register.


“The Science of Engagement” and The VAB Recommendation on Video Measurement

The Science of Engagement” – BBC Global News Ltd & BBC Worldwide

Content-led marketing is big business, but there are issues about how to best measure it. This paper combines traditional methods with neuro-science techniques (facial coding and Implicit Response Testing) to understand how consumers really engage with content-led marketing and what this means for brands – something that just can’t be measured by click-through rates.

Whilst facial coding has mainly been used to test video content, this is the first study of its kind measuring engagement with text based content marketing.



From various sources

The VAB Recommendation on Video Measurement

Given the literally billions of dollars involved, it is hardly surprising that metrics and measurement in the digital age is among the most contentious subjects in media research. Last week trade association VAB (the Video Advertising Bureau) announced a recommendation for making comparisons between “traditional” and digital platforms. 

The VAB, whose members include broadcast and cable TV networks, proposed that the industry use average audience as the basis for comparing video platforms (e.g. broadcast TV, Facebook, YouTube).

The method for calculating average audience is simple – multiple the unique audience (reach) by average minutes viewed, then divide that total by the minutes in the time period being considered. However, determining which approach the industry will ultimately adopt will likely be a more complicated task.


Neuroscience and The Revealing Power of Emotions

Are Politicians Reading Your Mind?

In order to win elections, political campaigns in many countries are using neuroscience to seek voter data and insights. Kevin Randall, writing for The New York Times describes some of these techniques and campaigns in his article, “Neuropolitics, Where Campaigns Try to Read Your Mind.”  He describes how facial coding, biofeedback, and brain imaging is being used in “neuropolitics” not only to tailor campaigns but even for governing. TAG: neuropolitics.  See more . . Source:

Did Your Smile Help Shape That Ad?

Facial coding technology enables marketers to analyze the facial expressions of consumers as they view ads. Their emotional responses can be more accurate than surveys, interviews or focus groups.  E.J. Schultz, writing for Advertising Age, discusses how facial expressions can reveal responses missed by traditional copy-testing methods in this article, “Facial-Recognition Lets Marketers Gauge Consumers’ Real Responses to Ads.” TAG: facial recognition.  See more . . . Source:   

Are TV Networks Getting Inside Your Brain?

Both Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal and Viacom Inc. are opening labs where they will track the biometrics of TV viewers in order to understand what programs and commercials elicit the strongest emotional response from viewers.  The TV networks are also interested in using information about viewer focus to find the best time for a commercial within a program.  Time Warner Inc. also uses biometrics to test ads in its lab. This Reuters article by Jessica Toonkel, “TV Networks Open Labs to Read the Minds of Viewers,” discusses how the results from biometric testing can reveal engagement.  TAG: TV viewers. See more . . Source: 

Consumers Lie, Brain Research Reveals the Truth

Market researchers have found that consumers are not always truthful when questioned about their reaction to commercials.  Neuroscientist Moran Cerf, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, uses tools like EEGs and fMRIs to observe the brain activity of people as they react to films and commercials, measuring what happens when they positively or negatively engage with content. The content and length of Super Bowl ads are being tested using these tools at Northwestern. This article in Media Post by Sarah Mahoney, “Brain Research: What’s the Best Length for a Super Bowl Spot?” further discusses the costs of brain research, as well as the benefits, such as memorable and engaging commercials.  See more . . . Source:

Your Magazine Ad Placement is Just Wrong

Eye-tracking research involving 183 magazine ads demonstrated that the traditional placement of ads at the top of the page is not the most effective placement.  In fact, eye fixations are drawn to the bottom of the page.  The analysis behind this conclusion as well as the latest research on ad color, placement, and the amount of text for magazine ads is discussed in this June 2015 Journal of Advertising Research article, “The Power of Direct Context As Revealed by Eye Tracking-A Model Tracks Relative Attention to Competing Editorial and Promotional Content,” by Edith G. Smit, University of Amsterdam; Sophie C. Boerman, University of Amsterdam; Lex Van Meurs, GfK.  TAG: magazine ad placement. See more . . . Source:

Media Forum

How Advertising Works: Building Brands between the Ears

Free for ARF Members

Join us on December 1st for the ARF’s Media Forum for an informative salon forum on the importance of sound.

  • Neuro-Insight will present “The Radio Revolution: The Neuroscience behind the Power of Radio Advertising”
  • Turner Broadcasting presents “Breakthrough: The Role of Audio in TV Commercials”
  • Nielsen will discuss brand-new comparable metrics report for radio, TV, digital and mobile examining how many people use media for how long and how often

ARF Host:

Gayle Fuguitt – CEO and President, The ARF

Tony Hereau – VP, Audience Insights, Nielsen
Mark Loughney – VP, Research, Turner Broadcasting
Radha Subramanyan – President, Insights, Research & Data Analytics, iHeartMedia
Pranav Yadav – Chief Executive Officer, Neuro-Insight US



8:30–9:00am: Breakfast & Networking
9:00–11:00am: Program
11:00–11:30am: Networking




Consumer Neuroscience Update: An Increasingly Integrated Industry Outlook

On October 28th, the ARF and leaders from Nielsen’s Consumer Neuroscience practice present an exclusive, member only session that will provide an update on trends in the consumer neuroscience industry.

As the field of consumer neuroscience grows in size and matures in sophistication,
many exciting forms of integration are taking place. It is evidenced by early signs
of economic consolidation, such as Nielsen’s recent acquisition of Innerscope Research. A parallel trend towards integration of methodologies is illustrated by new multimodal products for advertising assessment that combine neurometric, biometric, eye-tracking, facial coding, and self-report, to provide unprecedented diagnostic richness. Finally, emerging examples of the integration of neuroscience results with unique in-market data are yielding new evidence for the validity of using neuroscience-based observations to predict marketplace outcomes.

Mark Loughney – VP, Research, Turner
Carl Marci, MD – Chief Neuroscientist, EVP Sales & Marketing, Nielsen
Michael Smith, PhD – VP, Consumer Neuroscience Solutions, Nielsen
Dr. Horst Stipp – EVP, Research & Innovation: Global & Ad Effectiveness, The ARF
Joe Willke – President, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience

Join us at this Thought Leader Event to:

  • Review recent neuromarketing trends
  • Provide a unique opportunity to discuss their implications
  • Help advance the use of neuroscience to improve consumer insights.

How Advertising Works: Building Brands in the Brain

Gayle Fuguitt, CEO and President of The Advertising Research Foundation, provided an overview of this presentation by Dr. Horst Stipp, EVP, Research & Innovation: Global & Ad Effectiveness at The Advertising Research Foundation.

Dr. Stipp’s presentation, “Improving Ad Creative and Ad Effectiveness Through Neuromarketing Research” included an overview of the evolution of Neuromarketing.

Conclusions from Neuro 1 and 2 research:

-”Strength of neuromarketing methods lies in their ability to uncover emotional reactions better than other methods.”

-Neuro + “traditional” methods can improve the predictive power of an ad test significantly.

Biometric/Neuro methods should be considered for a variety of research needs and business objectives including:

-Ad creative



-In-store placement

-Price points

-Product design

-Brand tracking

In addition, eye tracking reveals that viewers pay attention to ads while they fast-forward through commercials.  Eye-tracking and EEG tests enabled the Ad Council to make a campaign message more effective.  In another example, an SST study demonstrated the need to connect entertainment and the branding message in a campaign for Evian.

Dr. Stipp concluded his presentation with these points:

-Neuro research reveals that emotional relevance drives attention, involvement, memory, wanting/liking, and purchase intent.

-Biometrics and neuro research can provide the insights that will result in the delivery of quality creative in a faster, more scalable fashion.

Additional support for the effectiveness of neuro research for advertising campaigns was provided by the following presentations:

“From the Front Lines: Buyers” presented by Daniel Slotwiner, Director, Advertising Research, Facebook; Manvir Kalsi, Senior Manager, Innovation Process & Research, Samsung; Patty Goldman, VP, Research Director, The Advertising Council.

These presenters discussed the emotional engagement and memory activation of custodial and noncustodial fathers in response to the “Father Involvement Campaign.”

“Speed to Scale: Sellers” presented by Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, Nielsen; Pranav Yadav, CEO, Neuro-Insight US Inc.

Discussion highlighted the need for the integration of multiple tools to enable ad optimization including: EEG, core biometrics, facial coding, eye tracking and self-reporting.

“The Future: The Investor Perspective” presented by Dave Kohl, CEO, Morgan Digital Ventures, who concluded that “visual insights that make you more money from real people paying attention.”

Neuroscience in Marketing: Fact and Fiction


Heather Andrew, UK CEO of Neuro-Insight, a consumer neuro research specialist firm, discusses the fact and fiction around the neuroscience techniques which enable advertisers to understand what consumers think about their campaigns.  By using these techniques to assess brain activity, subconscious, emotional responses of consumers can be revealed.  These responses are often difficult to measure via traditional research.

Among the Facts:                                                             

-Neuroscience adds value on top of traditional research methods: measuring the brain activities of audiences provides clarity on issues that people might not be conscious of or find difficult to articulate.  Neuroscience helps to identify emotional responses and to identify what is stored in memory on a second-by-second basis as audiences engage with content.

-Measurement of memory is crucial to assessing ad effectiveness: successful memory encoding has a strong correlation with decision-making and purchase behavior, and is the most important metric on which neuroscience can report.  Emotional response is also crucial, but high memory encoding levels are important to great advertising.

Among the Fictions:

-Neuroscience can read minds.  Fact: neuroscientists use technology to identify which parts of the brain are active as consumers interact with different types of content. Analysis of this information provides insights about the impact of the content.

-Measurement and analysis will stifle creativity. Fact: neuroscience often highlights the effectiveness of highly creative ads that can be undervalued by other methodologies.

-You only need a small sample when using neuroscience. Fact: samples of approximately 50 people are generally viewed as a minimum cell size.

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