Now two TV network media companies will be trying again, with new labs: Viacom and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
These labs will focus specifically on brain activity -- which has been in vogue recently among those who want to get closer to viewer motivations. Older tests might use eye-tracking and other biometrics measures.
Much has been made about “big data” that marketers, or third-party measurers, seem to rally around in the hopes of getting a clearer picture of consumer feelings and decisions.
Now add all the data points of someone’s brain activity. Even then, other mysteries still abound. "Just because their brain cells are lighting up during a commercial, doesn't necessarily mean they are going to buy the product. They may simply find the commercial engaging," Beth Rockwood, senior vice president of market resources and advertising sales research at Discovery Communications, told Reuters.
Now, all of that might be good news for TV programmers like NBCUniversal, which in its Orlando, Fla. lab, is currently looking for the best-performing scenes of a TV series to put into on-air TV promos.
But the question for many: How can a panel of viewers, wired up with current technology, be made to yield ongoing data on a daily, weekly or other timely basis?
Perhaps with more narrowly targeted efforts, TV networks and marketers may get some consistent tangible results from brain activity. Otherwise they could get lost in ever bigger ocean of too much consumer information.