Unruly now offers biometric measurement of video ads
The new ‘holistic’ solution from the News Corp-owned ad tech firm provides brainwave capture by Nielsen, facial analysis by Affectiva, and sound analysis from Moodagent.
Marketers learned long ago that the best ads deliver emotional responses. To measure these responses, the traditional focus group has been complemented in recent years by facial recognition and other technologies.
News Corp-owned Unruly has now unveiled a multilayered solution that includes its first regular biometric measurement of online video or TV ads via an ensemble of star players in the field.
Called Unruly EQ, it brings together brainwave analysis by marketing research firm Nielsen, facial recognition by Affectiva and music data analysis by Moodagent. This is complemented by an expanded version of Unruly’s own detailed online questionnaire. Unruly VP of Marketing and Insight Devra Prywes told me that, previously, biometric testing was used only when a client requested it.
In addition, London-based Unruly is now launching a series of emotion-oriented private marketplaces (PMPs), in collaboration with Kent State University.
These Emotional PMPs offer video ads characterized by a given emotional response, such as Inspiration, Hilarity, Amazement, Pride and Surprise.
The ads are offered through a trading desk to private marketplaces of websites that Unruly has curated because each marketplace provides the best contextual resonance for that kind of ad. An inspiring ad about achieving something difficult, for instance, might work well on competition-oriented sites like ESPN.
Prywes told me that her company has been conducting emotion-based ad targeting for about two years, but there are no results yet on how well this new kind of site-based emotional targeting or the new EQ measurement works. She noted that, generally speaking, “purchase intent goes up when people are emotionally engaged.”
A recent study by Nielsen found that video ads with above-average EEG scores — that is, ones that were “emotional ads” — generated a 23-percent uplift in sales volume. The research firm added that emotionally engaged campaigns increase brand favorability by 74 percent and purchase intent by 80 percent.
The main intent of the new Unruly EQ, Prywes said, is to measure a brand’s authenticity, predicted shareability on social media and elsewhere, a viewer’s identification with brand values and a viewer’s purchase intent, all of which are related to emotional connections.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, co-CEO Sarah Wood cited her company’s surveys that “authenticity, in particular, is very important to viewers, with 76 percent saying they lose trust when an ad feels inauthentic.”
Unruly EQ consists of four main components:
- Nielsen’s lab-based EEG testing, which employs 32 sensors on each subject’s head to capture brain activity and thus determine non-conscious responses, such as which images or messages the user is paying attention to;
- Affectiva’s facial analysis, which codes second-by-second remote video captures of opt-in participants’ faces while watching the ads, in order to determine their emotional responses and where they’re looking;
- Unruly’s online questionnaire, which is deployed to a remote panel of 500 participants for each video ad. It has been enlarged beyond its previous scope for measuring shareability and comparable attributes to include questions about authenticity, credibility and agreement (or disagreement) with a brand’s statement.
- Moodagent, which utilizes machine learning to determine how a soundtrack increases or decreases an ad’s emotional intensity and resulting effectiveness.
The Unruly and Affectiva tests are conducted on the same group of users for each ad, while Nielsen’s tests are applied to a separate group that has the same demographic composition. Moodagent’s analysis, of course, doesn’t require users.
The end result of all this measuring is what Prywes called “a really detailed report,” with recommendations about what’s resonating.
Although there are a variety of emotion-measurement solutions for ads — from RealEyes, Virool and Sticky, among others — Prywes said that “no other company is doing exactly what we’re doing” by providing such a “holistic” solution as EQ and the Emotional PMPs.