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Nielsen Opens Cincinnati Consumer Neuroscience Lab; 16th Worldwide

On Nov. 29, to a crowd of advertisers, agencies and academics, our Consumer Neuroscience team unveiled a new state-of-the-art neuroscience lab located in downtown Cincinnati. This latest addition brings us to five labs in the U.S., joining Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta, and a total of 16 labs around the world.

The opening event for our new lab in Cincinnati

The four-pod lab in Cincinnati, which is similar to other labs across the globe, offers Nielsen’s suite of tools: electroencephalography (EEG), facial coding, eye tracking and more. The pods (customized rooms where we conduct our neuroscience studies) are carefully constructed to control for a number of variables for the highest quality data, including lighting, sound, visual field, color palette and participant experience.

“Measuring the modern media landscape requires modern tools, and marketers increasingly understand that insights into nonconscious brain processing are delivering more powerful, actionable information than they’ve ever had,” said Joe Willke, president of Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. “We’re thrilled to bring these capabilities to more marketers, particularly to some of our key clients in the Cincinnati area.”

The Cincinnati lab opening is one part of Nielsen’s global push for increased capacity to meet growing client demand. This comes as consumer neuroscience continues to see increased adoption rates and proven success helping marketers tackle one of their toughest challenges: seizing attention and driving engagement with advertising and packaging in media and retail environments that are more cluttered than ever.

“We think of ourselves as rational and linear, but research shows emotion has a much bigger impact, the subconscious has a much bigger impact,” said Willke during an exclusive interview with the Cincinnati Business Courier around the rapid growth of the industry and Nielsen’s investments in this space.

In the past 12 months alone, Nielsen opened or made significant upgrades to seven of our consumer neuroscience labs, markedly increasing overall worldwide capacity. In addition to opening the Cincinnati lab, we completed several other expansion projects this year:

  • We increased to four neuro pods in Boston, doubling our capacity in that location, while also updating existing pods.
  • We added one new neuro pod in both our China and Japan labs, increasing capacity by 30%-50% in those regions, and updated infrastructure to allow for expanded capabilities.
  • We opened a new lab in Singapore in June, replete with remote lab capabilities to support field work throughout Indonesia, Philippines and Australia.
  • We increased our testing capacity in Mexico City, expanding from two to three neuro pods.
  • We increased our testing capacity in Bogota, expanding from three to four neuro pods.

These expansions come as new research from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which measured current attitudes among marketers about consumer neuroscience, identified some intriguing findings. “Today, awareness and usage are growing,” the report cited, finding that 90% of U.S. marketers believe that consumer neuroscience will complement or replace traditional research techniques in the coming years.

And, most notably, the research found that those employing consumer neuroscience technologies are seeing sizeable returns: Of those marketers who could attribute revenue growth to the use of neuroscience techniques, they saw an average 16% increase, which equates to about $80 million in revenue.

All of these changes reflect an industry that’s maturing, with clearer demonstrations of ROI that is driving demand across the globe. At Nielsen, we will continue to invest in capacity to serve that demand, offering our clients around the world the highest level of service with facilities that include the latest tools and technologies.

We have 16 fixed labs around the globe that are staffed with experienced neurophysiologists and neuroscientists. We have conducted studies in over 40 countries, and we can conduct field studies in most of the 100+ countries with Nielsen offices.