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MillwardBrown dissects the science behind ads

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MillwardBrown dissects the science behind ads

MillwardBrown India held a seminar in Bangalore on July 7, 2010, where it gave insights into neuroscience based research and how marketers could leverage that. Titled ‘Link: What lies beneath’, the seminar also looked at the concept of ad transference and its various facets. The seminar was an attempt to delve beneath consumers mind and how LINK database can help in understanding how an ad travels across regions and town classes.

Giving an insight into neuroscience-based research, Graham Page, EVP, Millward Brown, Neuroscience Practice, said, “From among the many techniques that have emerged, we use implicit association measurement, eye-tracking and brainwave measurement. When used in conjunction with established methods, these techniques can yield insights that lead to more effective marketing.”

The session gave a peek into ‘Eye-tracking’, which captures the eye movement that indicates the focus of visual attention with more detail and accuracy. This provides a strong case of what catches one’s eye when one sees an ad, thus acting as a powerful tool for evaluating any creative. The other method is ‘Brainwave Measurement’, which uses Emsense technology for this purpose. This uses a headband to collect EEG and secondary biometric data. The tool can again be used to get an assessment of both emotional and cognitive thoughts breaking it down to scene by scene for an ad, thus making it clear what really works for a particular ad and what doesn’t.

Shiv Moulee, Chief Client Officer, MillwardBrown India threw light on ‘The Advertiser’s India: One country or many?’ This is an obvious dilemma that a marketer faces, given the heterogeneous nature of Indian market – how can one ad work for pan India and if one ad works, then why does it work? He looked at the concept of ad transference, can one make an ad for pan India, what contributes to lack of transference and why do regions and town classes respond the way they do.

He said, “The brand status is the principal barrier for any ad transference. Then comes the creative impact or the likeability of an ad.”

Looking at the themes of ads that worked across, include the ones which created a unique brand space like Johnson & Johnson, Complan or those that moved beyond their cues to create unique branding like iPod and Dove. Second are the ads that had the idea of common shared culture like Bollywood or Cricket. Last were ads that showed insight of fundamental human truth like spending time with family or drive to find a partner.

Based on the LINK metrics, Moulee also showed interesting facts about ad transference among regions. Facts like North and South divide does exist. North doesn’t transfer well while East transfers well, but only in specific set of brands. South India looks for functional message in ads, while North India seeks overt uses of entertainment. West India shows a balance between messaging and entertainment code. He also talked about smaller towns with 10-40 lakh population, which seeks aspirational values rather well as opposed to smaller towns, which seek information in advertising, and metros, which respond to a wide range of cues.


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