Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EEGs tell us if ads work or not

We were familiar with EEGs (electro- encephalographs) from public relations for a clinic that used quantitative EEGs to diagnose attention deficit disorders in children.

It was fascinating for us to hear that companies now are using a similar technology to check their advertising.

The technology still is not accepted by insurance companies—even though qEEGs can successfully diagnose various mental illnesses.

But cost doesn’t hold back businesses when EEGs can be used to make sure money spent on advertising gets the biggest bang for the buck.

Asking people questions in a qualitative focus group is notoriously dicey.

The target audience has to be determined in advance and the right people found to bring in.

Even then, people are loath to hurt feelings or be too different from the group to be completely honest.

Researchers also have to be careful not to sway the discussion or allow people with the strongest opinions to railroad others.

With computerization, people watch ads while their eye movements are tracked by means of 64 sensors attached to a cap they wear.

Pulses on a line graph show varying responses to the three most important sales points: attention, emotional response and memory retention.

Companies claim they can pinpoint sections that work—or don’t—without even asking the person what they thought.

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