Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience Unveils Trailblazing Ad Testing Solution

Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, the leader in measuring non-conscious responses to deliver consumer insights, today announced the launch of an advertising research solution that will set a new standard for marketers looking to elevate their advertising creative and optimize in-market performance.

Video Ad Explorer, which was shown to predict in-market consumer sales behavior in a ground-breaking study with CBS, integrates the most comprehensive suite of neuroscience technologies. It helps brands unlock consumer insights and unravel the complexities of advertising creative development with unprecedented predictive power.

While individual neuroscience measures provide some level of prediction to in-market sales, Video Ad Explorer employs unique analyses using a rich combination of neuroscience tools for the highest level of prediction on a global scale. With analysis and feedback on a second by second basis, the results and insights can help optimize ideas and turn good advertising into great advertising.

By evaluating creative with measures from electroencephalography (EEG), core biometrics (which includes skin conductance response and heart rate), facial coding, eye tracking and self-report, brands can access their unique, complementary insights into the complexity of the consumer brain. The integrated use of these tools improves the ability of ad creative to drive-in-market success.

“Over the years, brands have had to settle for incomplete tools and processes for understanding creative development, but Video Ad Explorer changes that,” said Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist for Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. “By integrating these tools, we’re providing brand teams with a full picture of their consumers’ thinking and emotional response that will create greater confidence and understanding about how their creative will perform.”

In a major validation of Video Ad Explorer, CBS, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience and Nielsen Catalina Solutions today announced the results of a five-month study that found large, statistically significant and meaningful relationships between individual neuroscience measures and sales. When used separately, the relationship to sales of the individual metrics ranged from a low of 9% for facial coding and 27% for biometrics to a high of 62% for EEG. The study further showed that the integration of multiple neuroscience measures results in up to 77% explanatory power with in-store sales, providing marketers with unprecedented research potential.

The study, which took place at multiple lab locations across the country using multiple technologies, collected consumer reactions to nearly 60 video ads across almost 20 product categories. The incremental sales generated by the specific TV schedules for those same ads was then determined by Nielsen Catalina Solutions using their single source dataset. This dataset included 4.3 million cable set-top-box households and retail purchase behavior from more than 90 million households and is nationally representative.

“With today’s consumer continuously exposed to more and more media messages, it is increasingly difficult for an advertiser to develop creative that breaks through and resonates with the target audience,” said David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation and President, CBS Vision. “The product of this large-scale groundbreaking study, Video Ad Explorer, will provide the advanced measurement toolkit needed to develop powerful and effective advertising. We are pleased to be able to join with Nielsen in offering this new product at our Television City Research Center in Las Vegas.”

While brands have been able to use these technologies in the past, this is the first time they have been able to use them all together. Each of these technologies captures a different aspect of non-conscious processing, creating a non-invasive, passive measurement of attention, emotion and memory activation that can be used in tandem to address unique challenges.

  • For EEG, multiple sensors across key brain regions derive measures of emotional motivation, memory activation and attention processing.
  • Core biometrics includes a combination of skin conductance and heart rate changes that capture the emotional journey.
  • Facial coding captures discrete facial expression of emotions, such as surprise, confusion, joy and sadness.
  • Eye tracking pinpoints visual focus on creative content, including specific areas that attract the most, and least, attention.
  • Self-reporting balances non-conscious measures with consumers’ conscious responses about what they say, think, do or plan to do.

“The integration of each of these technologies allows us to arrive at the most comprehensive understanding of what in these video ads is and isn’t working – and how to improve them,” said Joe Willke, President, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. “That, in turn drives superior ROI for ad spending.”

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