Google reads brain waves to measure ads on YouTube

Google, along with MediaVest are releasing information about ad quality determined by reading brain waves and psychological responses to ads on video content. This is an interesting idea, and for the most part, it seems like it could be a very accurate way to measure how ads are perceived by viewers.

Google, along with MediaVest are releasing information about ad quality determined by reading brain waves and psychological responses to ads on video content. This is an interesting idea, and for the most part, it seems like it could be a very accurate way to measure how ads are perceived by viewers.

Yaakov Kimelfeld of MediaVest and Leah Spalding of Google presented in a webinar this morning to share these results. The goal was to measure the impact of YouTube overlay advertisements on attention levels, emotional engagement, and other psychological metrics.

Google, with the help of NeuroFocus, used a sample group of participants, and measured things likes skin responses, eye movement and an EEG brain scan. EEG is a more portable and convenient, but slightly less accurate way to measure alpha and beta waves in the brain compared other common methods that require you to be laying horizontal in a machine.

They came to three conclusions when it comes to InVideo overlay advertisements:

  1. InVideo overlay ads are compelling
  2. InVideo overlay ads add to user experience
  3. InVideo overlay ads improve positive brand response

I had one question though -- why wouldn't simple click-through rates be a good enough indicator to determine the quality of an advertisement? As an advertiser, measuring what people think about my ads isn't as important to me as seeing clicks (unless of course they are display ads). If nobody is clicking them, it might be a good indication that we've got problems with quality. Here's the response:

Click through was important.. but since we're looking at brand impact, it's not enough to just look at the click through rate (CTR). CTR will not give us any indication as far as how memorable an ad is, or metrics on brand impact, etc. For these reasons it's important to include and consider CTR but to look beyond that. -- Leah Spalding, Google

The research presented definitely makes InVideo overlay ads look like a compelling option for advertisers. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before it really catches on.

What do you personally think of InVideo ovelrlay ads? Do they annoy you? Let's hear what you have to say in the TalkBack!

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