A recent study from Nielsen’s Neuro division found that changes in Twitter TV activity -- tweets around live airing of prime-time broadcast and cable TV shows -- correlates strongly with brain activity, chiefly emotions, memory and attention. Per MediaDailyNews, this is the case 79.5% of the time.
“In short, it means that increases in conversation on Twitter during live programming signal that there is high engagement with programming among the general viewing audience,” writes Nielsen.
“Agencies and advertisers can look to Twitter TV metrics as a part of the media planning and buying process to identify shows with engaged audiences and, by extension, opportunities to increase ad memorability and sales outcomes,” Nielsen writes, calling this one of the major implications of its latest study.
Nielsen asserts these findings mean that social media is a bellwether for general audience engagement. Nielsen's findings relate specifically to TV audiences, but it's not hard to see how similar data mining can be used to read the neurological signals other audiences are sending. The same consumers are viewing content on other screens as well, and they do have the same brains.
We already know that content can manipulate the way consumers feel -- this is not new. What comes to mind is the experiment Facebook ran on some of its users in 2012.
“For the test, Facebook manipulated users' news feeds to deliberately filter out some positive or negative posts. Researchers then observed people's reactions and concluded that mood was ‘contagious,’ with users' responses matching the tone of the posts they saw,” wrote MediaPost’s Daily Online Examiner at the time.
If consumers (and, ultimately audiences) are giving such strong neurological signals on social media -- which is mostly public information -- how far off are we from programmatic ad platforms fueled by neuro-data? It would add "right mood" to programmatic's growing list of "rights."