SXSW: This is your brain on ads

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 302 views 

Editor’s note: Brett Parker, director of media services for Little Rock-based Stone Ward, will this week provide occasional updates on events he attends at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.

What drives people to stop, look, feel, share and buy? People may not always be able to articulate it, but consumer neuroscience is shedding new light on the non-conscious aspects of consumer decision making. A panel of experts at SXSW on Saturday discussed cross-media consumption, screen size and the physiological response to advertising.

Manuel Garcia-Garcia, SVP of Research and Innovation for Global and Ad Effectiveness at The Advertising Research Foundation, stated that utilizing cross-channel media platforms increases long term advertising recall opposed to using a single platform. Data showed that using a single platform attributed to a -57% long term recall, but running within two platforms increased that same recall to 95%.

However, while brands typically operate within multiple channels for an advertising campaign, only 38% create content that’s tailored specifically for each channel, which is a major problem for brands. In a recent study, Garcia concluded that running the same ad placement within TV and mobile resulted in a 50% reduction in ad effectiveness compared to creating two unique spots: one running on TV and one running online.

Aaron Reid, Founder and Chief Behavioral Scientist at Sentient Decision Science, mirrored Garcia’s data and took it a step further, stating his methodologies could accurately predict if a brand’s ad would have a positive influence on sales before it went to market.

“We don’t want to know how you feel about an ad, we want to know how an ad makes you feel about a brand,” said Reid. He continued by adding that while many factors are correlated with an ad that drives overall influence and sales, the number one priority for any brand is making sure the ad is centered around “implicit self-identification” against the audience it’s trying to reach. By aligning your brand with the core value a target audience relates to, you’ve already set yourself up for success before any of the science comes into play.

Concluding the panel was Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight U.S., who discussed the importance of understanding mobile video placements, specifically within social platforms. Yadav stated that a brand has five seconds to capture the attention of an audience within the clustered environment of social platforms. Of this five seconds, the first second is crucial to garner an audience’s attention, while the next 2-3 seconds should be geared towards getting the consumer to turn their sound on. If your message fails to capture their attention within five seconds, a brand can prepare for less engagement resulting in more impressions needed equating to a higher campaign cost.

In summary, from a consumer neuroscience perspective, your brand needs to utilize multiple platforms, incorporate a message that aligns with the core value of your desired target audience and must stand out among the current advertising clutter.