Are Consumers Really Receptive To Ad Messages?

Are consumers really hearing the message you paid ungodly sums to transmit to them?

A new report uses neuroscience to get to the bottom of that question. The report, by Aki Technologies, gauged brainwave activity among consumers who watched the Super Bowl. During the game, consumers were outfitted with EMOTIV headsets primed to detect six emotions: excitement, interest, stress, engagement/boredom, attention and relaxation.

Here’s what the research found:

Receptivity increased with game volatility: During the game, researchers found attention didn’t peak in the first break in action as many expected. Attention peaked after Cooper Kupp’s 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Viewers were most receptive during the Super Bowl halftime. Commercial breaks didn’t meaningfully change receptivity, but the halftime show significantly boosted attention, engagement, interest and excitement.

Context is crucial. Excitement increased most when participants consumed alcohol. Still, it actually fell for those watching the game in public (at a bar or restaurant).

A consumer’s response varies by demographics. During Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, women were 14.3% more receptive to mobile advertising. Interestingly, during the Academy Awards, men were 9% less receptive to mobile advertising than women, but after the slap, men’s receptivity grew 5% faster than that of women.

Stephanie Klimaszewski, senior vice president marketing at Aki Technologies, said the purpose of the report is to help marketers make more informed and strategic media investments.  “By understanding audience receptivity in response to big media events like the Super Bowl, and other major news and cultural events, like the January 2021 invasion of the Capitol, unseasonable weather and the Academy Awards, marketers can gain new insight into audience receptivity to advertising during marketable moments."

2 comments about "Are Consumers Really Receptive To Ad Messages?".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, June 8, 2022 at 8:50 a.m.

    Major events like the super bowl and the academy awards are hardly your typical ad exposure environments. 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 8, 2022 at 9:50 a.m.

    Correct, Jonathan.

    Also, putting a small sample in headsets also raises questions about exactly what is being measured in such an abnormal situation. As for the findings, the headline of the article asks whether people are receptive to advertising but the information provided doesn't give us the answer.

    Other research---and there is tons of it from sources such as TVision, hosts of commercial testing studies based on recall and motiviation results, as well as general studies in which people are asked about their receptivity to advertising  tell us that it all depends. On what, you may ask? Certainly the creative hook or device that captures attention is one factor. Next what you are advertising is vitally important. I did a study on ad receptivity some years ago which inquired about hundreds of product classes individually. There were great variations in ad receptivity with presonally relevant products far outpacing those with unpleasant contexts or commodities. And, to the point that Douglas often raises, there is a segment----not huge but evident---which hates advertising while another group seems to favor it as a useful source of information and entertainment---both extremes are about 20% of the poulation. In between them is the vast majority and for them ad recpetivity is a case by case decision.

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