Neuromarketing surpasses conventional research methods, it was confirmed by measuring emotions caused by ads in the US Super Bowl

15.8.2014 | Verbal evaluation of tested ads is different from objectively measured emotional reactions of respondents. That was the result of neuromarketing research of emotional responses caused by television commercials broadcasted during the American Football League final.

Neuromarketing research combines methods of modern marketing biomedicine and neuropsychology. It uses measurements of bioelectric activity of the brain (EEG), heart rate (BVP), respiratory rate, galvanic skin reflex (GSR) and surface temperature of the skin to detect effectiveness of advertising. These vegetative processes take place in the human body unconsciously and react to mental states, ie experiencing emotions (see eg. “holding the breath” during thrilling scenes in a film). It is therefore a very reliable indicator of emotional experiences which are essential for perception and memorization of advertising.

Advertising time during the so-called Super Bowl is one of the most expensive. Half minute spot (in the break of the match) costs incredible $ 4,000,000 ie. about 80 million CZK. The logical expectation of the contracting authorities is therefore a very high effectiveness of such advertising and on that was the neuromarketing research focused.

Emotional reactions of the respondents induced by commercials for Doritos chips, Pepsi drink and Toyota SUV were tested by EEG of the brain. In following interviews respondents verbally reviewed the spots and then the so-called recall test was carried out in two intervals. The recall test detects the depth of memorized information and it is used to control findings from previous phases of the research.

Research respondents who were students of the University of Finance and Administration (VŠFS) were emotionally (according to the results of the EEG) interested in the Doritos commercials the most (58 % above the level of their idle state). Nearly a half lower emotions were caused by the advertising for Pepsi drink (33 %) and minimum of emotions was awakened by the Toyota commercial (8 %). These objectively determined indicators are yet in conflict with subjective feelings of the respondents. The most positively rated ad was indeed the one for Pepsi drink followed by Doritos ad and Toyota in the last place. Described discrepancy confirms the benefits of the neuromarketing research in comparison with traditional research methods – subjective opinions of the respondents on how they are impressed by the ads (unknowingly) do not correspond with precisely measured data. This was also confirmed by the so-called recall test in which respondents were asked after three and seven days what they can remember from the ads. They memorized the Doritos ad the most, although it was not the most positively rated ad according to their verbal evaluations, while neuromarketing measurement showed that they experienced it emotionally the most – and therefore it left the deepest memory footprint.

The results have confirmed one of the advantages of the neuromarketing researches: a respondent in a questionnaire survey or a personal interview rationally evaluates advertising, but in fact he experiences it differently. Neuromarketing research therefore provides unique feedback about real efficiency of marketing communication tools. The cited VŠFS research was supported by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports.

Kamila Jánská, Pavel Rosenlacher, Michal Tomčík

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