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Breakthrough Ad Testing Solution Has Unprecedented Ability to Predict In-Market Success

In the make-or-break world of advertising, there’s no over-emphasizing the need for good ads. But marketers and advertisers don’t just want solid creative. They want to know how effective their ads will be in getting positive returns—even before their campaigns have launched.

While knowing what happens tomorrow isn’t technically possible, results from a five-month study have identified the elements of ad creative that generate in-market success. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, CBS and Nielsen Catalina Solutions worked together and presented the groundbreaking results of their “The Neuroscience Behind Creating Better Creative” study at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement Conference on June 13, 2016.

Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist and EVP of Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, explained that the study used integrated consumer neuroscience tools to reveal that a specific combination of consumer responses to ad creative can be connected to in-market sales, effectively revealing what ultimately makes ad creative successful.

The study evaluated ad creative using key neuroscience measures: electroencephalography (EEG), core biometrics (which includes skin conductance response and heart rate), facial coding, and eye tracking and self-report.  During the study, participants watched nearly 60 consumer packaged goods (CPG) ads in nearly 20 categories. Findings from the study show that the magic is in using a combination of the right tools giving marketers clear insight into what aspects of the creative are effective. Having this insight drives better creative, so that marketers can predict if their ads will be successful prior to their launch, which can lead to higher in-market sales.

“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.”

This presentation coincides with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience’s launch of Video Ad Explorer, which was used in this study to predict in-market consumer sales behavior. This new solution integrates the most comprehensive suite of neuroscience technology to help brands unlock consumer insights and unravel the complexities of advertising creative development with unprecedented predictive power.

“Over the years, brands have had to settle for incomplete tools and processes for understanding creative development, but Video Ad Explorer changes that,” said Marci. “By integrating these tools, we’re providing marketing specialists and their brands with a picture of their consumer’s thinking and emotional response that will create greater confidence and understanding about how their creative will perform.”

“Every marketer wants to be able to answer the question ‘But did it work?’ with a definitive ‘Yes.'” Now, there’s no doubt that neuromeasures can actually predict whether an ad will drive in-store sales,” said Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer at Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

For more information, watch the video of the breakout session below.