A consumer research company has used biometric technology to analyze audience responses to video advertisements across multiple platforms. The company, Innerscope Research, found that ads on TV generate much stronger responses than they do on Facebook.
Innerscope’s study analyzed the physiological responses of 390 participants, who were asked to watch ads on TV, Facebook, mobile devices, and in digital pre-rolls. Biometric sensors were used to track participants’ breathing patterns, skin conductance, and heart rate – signals that, according to the company, “comprise the measures of core emotional response”. The results essentially indicated that audiences pay more attention to bigger screens, and especially when they’re not intent on looking at their own social media, as in the case of users on Facebook; video ads on TV were four times as effective as those on Facebook. Facebook users were also more likely to tune out and not pay much attention to the branding at the end of a commercial, and this was also the case on mobile devices and PCs, where audience attention dropped significantly after the first few seconds of an ad.
The study is notable not just for its results, but for its methods. Biometric technology is increasingly playing a role in marketing and retail, and could be a major tool for advertisers in the future. We’re already seeing facial recognition technology that can identify the demographic characteristics of in-store shoppers and tailor marketing messaging accordingly, and some analysts predict that in the future biometric technology will be highly sensitive to consumers’ emotional states, allowing for further manipulation.