Since the beginning of time, the mind has been a mystery. Since the beginning of advertising, humans have tried to solve it. But it’s only been in the last decade that neuromarketing, as it’s known, has taken hold, with scientists studying the minutia of human response to TV spots, print ads and desktop promos. Now that iPhones and Samsung Galaxies have become ubiquitous, the world of neuromarketing is shifting its focus to unlocking the impact of mobile. To do that, marketers and agencies are turning to emerging technology—wireless EEG headsets, biometric scanners, and facial-and eye-tracking software—to understand the effectiveness of display and video ads on smartphones. And in order to make sense of the tens of thousands of stats, neuromarketing scientists have created algorithms that can decipher how people felt during an ad or how long they looked at one.
“We’re realizing that as the world gets more cluttered, and there’s more competition for the hearts and minds of audiences, we really need the best tools to measure the whole consumer,” said Carl Marci, chief neuroscientist at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience.
Marci, whose consumer neuroscience startup Innerscope Research was acquired by Nielsen last year, said the industry is in a growth phase, with interest coming from the U.S., India and other parts of Asia. A report by Nielsen for the Advertising Research Foundation revealed that branding resonated less with users on smaller screens. The results found that only 29 percent of smartphone users watching 30-second video ads on their devices watched them in their entirety. While it’s greater than the 17 percent who finished on a tablet or laptop, it’s much less than the 84 percent on a TV or the 83 percent on a desktop computer.