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Ipsos uses biometrics to measure advertising engagement


Ipsos is harnessing the power of neuroscience to understand the intensity of emotional response in its clients’ advertising campaigns. The global market research company offers its customers the use of a “biometrics kiosk” as a quick and easy way to measure and understand the intensity of emotional response in advertising and other marketing content.

The Ipsos kiosk is a “pop-up” booth that can be placed in any brick-and-mortar retail location to measure responses among a consumer sample group matching a representative, broad target audience. The idea is to use biometrics, or more accurately biorhythmic responses, to measure physiological responses to advertising, which manifests itself through heart rate, skin conductance, respiratory rate and active locomotive responses.

Biometrics Research Group, Inc. has previously defined biorhythms as simply the rhythms of life, which include vital body functions, including heart rate and blood pressure. Medical chronobiologists have found that biologic rhythms can affect the severity of disease symptoms, diagnostic test results, and even the body’s response to drug therapy. Biorhythms can also measure emotional response.

Ipsos argues that biometrics can substantially demonstrate whether emotional engagement with an ad has occurred. The firm believes that when biorhythmic data is combined with appropriate survey research, along with technical measurements that examine facial expression and implicit association, conclusions can be drawn that determine the effectiveness of an ad.

Ipsos contends that the use of its technology allows a retailer to determine whether an ad is generating overall emotional engagement and whether key components of an advertisement are working optimally. By determining emotional response in this fashion, an Ipsos client can isolate elements within an ad for its creative department to either retain or optimize.

Ipsos attempt to provide its “biometric insight” to its clients in a straightforward fashion. The firm equips its respondents within its “biometrics kiosk” with unobtrusive chest belts and finger sensors, rather than with skull caps and electrodes, to directly assess activity in the emotional centers of the brain.

The output that is collected contains key biometric indicators along with a “biometrics trace”, which tracks how the intensity of emotional response transitions and transforms during the course of an ad. Ipsos notes that by determining whether an ad solicits a strong and sustained emotional response, by way of biometrics, the firm can correlate and determine the potential “viralability” of an ad.

Further, the firm believes that it can relate biometric reactions to different elements of an ad to determine how it impacts a brand. While Ipsos does not believe that biometric measurement should supplant more conventional market research methods, it believes that it can help determine whether ads positively or negatively impact brand positioning.

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