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Measurement That Mirrors Human Processing

When looking at creating a successful media campaign, there are four essentials that need to combine together for it to be successful. Success means driving business goals and sustaining brand health. The four essentials are: delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right person, in the right place. Whilst all four elements are important, when the message is on point, the other three elements can fall into place more easily. 

However, achieving a message that resonates is often easier said than done. Our the7stars neutral planning research found that the default consumer response to advertising is one of apathy, with 2 in 3 more inclined to dislike or feel indifferent to a piece of advertising. 

Paired with this, consumers are presented with advertising anywhere that the eye can see. It was estimated by Yankelovich, a marketing research firm in the US, that we see around 5,000 ads every 24 hours – and that was in 2007. Some believe this number could have so much as doubled by now. This makes the task of creating a piece of advertising that cuts through the clutter and drives consumer engagement even harder. 

Consequently, if we want to create advertising that delivers impact then we need a method to determine consumer engagement with it before publication, in order to afford it the greatest chance of success.  

Traditionally, research methodologies have relied upon rational approaches such as focus groups and questionnaires. If we ask consumers their opinion on a piece of advertising, they apply post rationalisation to formulating their answers, and this doesn’t reflect the full picture of how people make decisions. 

Humans aren’t rational, logical creatures. Often decisions we make are born of an instinctive, emotional reaction to experience which is then rationalised and processed. So, whilst rational approaches have their benefits (the opportunity to collect a robust sample, to probe into the ‘why’ and to turnaround data at speed) they don’t present the opportunity to tap into the emotional side of the brain. 

This is where methodologies such as eye-tracking, implicit response and biometrics work, because they observe rather than ask. However, these approaches often rely on smaller sample sizes, are more costly and have longer lead times. 

Therefore, if we are going to measure a piece of advertising, we need to mirror the human brain. This means bringing together methodologies that tap into both the emotional and the rational processing that humans undertake. Doing this will enable us to generate a far stronger piece of messaging with a greater chance of breaking out of the background to capture a consumers’ attention. This is precisely why we have created Lightbox Sense – our new proprietary creative measurement tool, which collects data from both the emotional and rational parts of our brains.