Millward Brown, Affectiva Test Facial Tech In Emerging Markets
Millward Brown and Affectiva are expanding their facial recognition technology venture for copy-testing services in emerging ad markets, the companies have confirmed.
The expansion comes six months after the firms formed a partnership to add facial coding techniques to MB’s copy-testing service, concluding the approach would
enhance the service’s ability to assess the emotional impact of ads.
Affectiva developed the facial recognition analysis technology called Affdex. Through the partnership, it was integrated into Millward’s Link ad-copy evaluation system, used in a number of developed ad markets around the world.
Now the service is being deployed for emerging markets in Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, the companies said. “Facial expression analysis is very compelling for emerging markets where cultural norms can make it even harder for people to give negative or potentially embarrassing feedback,” stated Graham Page, executive vice president of Millward Brown's neuroscience practice.
The companies have been working together since last year, when Millward parent Kantar, the WPP media and market research arm, made an investment in Affectiva as part of a nearly $6 million round of financing led by Kantar and Myrian Capital.
The funding was used partly to accelerate the development of the Affdex system.
Affectiva was founded in 2009 by members of the MIT Media Lab, including co-founders Rosalind Picard, chairman and chief scientist at the firm, and Rana el Kaliouby, chief technology officer. Other investors in the company include the National Science Foundation and the Peder Sager Wallenberg Charitable Trust.