Consumers are very much guided by their emotions. But getting a deep and cost-efficient understanding of consumers’ emotional engagement with a TV commercial has not been easy so far. However, using new technologies such as Facial Coding you can get just that.
During a normal web based survey respondents will be asked to share access to their webcams. Tracking facial expressions and using sophisticated software, it is possible to get insights into what the audience actually feels about your content. Facial coding has been around for a few years but advertisers and agencies are only just now really beginning to embrace it.
The traditional survey based post-testing and tracking of TV spots has for many years been a great tool in evaluating their creative impact and optimizing the media plans. Ad recall, message recall, sender identification and liking are key metrics assessed during these types of surveys. These are conscious evaluations made by the respondents. “Facial coding” brings the unconscious dimension to the table. Together they create new powerful insights that can optimize your ad campaign and save you a lot of money.
There are some very interesting learnings from pre-testing that our media agency clients have highlighted. One is the strong correlation between the level of emotional response and engagement measured with facial coding and the actual ad recall measured in the post-test. This measure of creative impact of the TV spot can help media planners estimate the optimal reach and frequency of the campaign. Those with high engagement need lower media weights to break through the clutter. To get the full benefit, advertisers need to test the spot before the campaign is booked in order to adjust media weights.
Another interesting use is the ability to measure engagement within the first few seconds of the film. This will help advertisers know how suitable the film is for online media where ads can easily be skipped. Finally, the higher the engagement and emotional response, the more likely it is that the content will be shared by the audience.
The future of media planning is audience planning and the ability to move media budgets between platforms programmatically as the campaign unfolds. The facial coding method allows you to gauge the creative impact prior to campaign launch or very early on through a live report of respondent engagement. This will allow you to optimize the media weights of the specific spot on the fly and, for example, prolong the campaign at lower media weights or avoid overspending.
You still need excellent online panels for the facial coding projects. If you go through an agency you should still pay strict attention to who delivers the panels. Make sure the panel quality matches what you would normally require for any other piece of important market research.
Please let us know, what challenges you’re up to. We’re keen on becoming part of your success story.