Biometric Ad Testing - A Leading Australian Financial Services Provider TVC.

We conducted a biometric consumer research project to understand consumer’s subconscious responses of emotion, attention and engagement to an iconic Australian Financial Service Providers TVC.



Background - The Who & Why


With so many Financial Service Providers vying for the attention and funds of Australians, our team at Neurolytics wanted to dissect and uncover what element/s of a leading Financial Service Provider's TV Commercial (TVC) generate significant emotional positive and negative responses and what levels of engagement are consumers really giving to the TVC compare with financial product and services TVCs. The key objective of this project were:

  • To better understand how consumers react to a Financial Service Providers TVC through engagement and positive and negative emotions.

  • How the Financial Service Provider can improve their advertising through TVC advertising while strengthening the brand trust with their customers.


Research Objective - The What


The Key Research Objectives for this project were to:

  1. Measure consumers’ emotional reactions towards a leading Financial Service Provider's TVC and compare to one of its key competitors TVCs;

  2. Map consumers’ visual attention toward the Financial Service Provider's TVC;

  3. Identify the ad element(s) that evoke attention, cognitive processing and positive and/or negative emotions;

  4. Provide preliminary consumer insights and recommendations to help improve the ad element(s) or execution.


Research Method - The How


This project leveraged on our “Neurolytics Triangulation Technique” to derive reliable and accurate findings in a scientific manner based on years of consumer research and psychological industry knowledge. Our technique methodology combines three key research elements:

1. Biometric measures of visual attention, emotions and cognitive processing, captured using:

  • Eye Tracking: Helping understand visual patterns and viewer attention.

  • Facial Expression Analysis: Tracking micro-facial expressions as muscles move in your face indicating distinct positive and negative emotions.

  • Pupillometry: Recording pupil dilation indicating cognitive processing difficulty and cognitive load.

  • A combination of all: Combining all three biometric measures into our Neurolytics holistic algorithm, proving an accurate and precise viewer engagement response.

2. Respondent Self Reported Survey: Allowing respondents to answer a series of questions on a survey developed by Neurolytics using key trusted principles and scales from psychological academia.


3. Thematic Analysis on probing one-on-one interview: Conducting a qualitative interview to ‘dig deeper’ into the consumer’s perception and overall understanding of the TVC and its messaging.


Research Findings - The Results


Below are the research findings of the Financial Service Provider's TVC defined by each of the three key elements of our Neurolytics Triangulation Technique:


Consumer Visual Attention:

  • Faces innately attracted attention

  • Attention was focused on elements following the narrative

  • Scattered attention throughout the TVC, suggesting general confusion and processing difficulty on the TVC messaging.


Moment-by-Moment Biometric Engagement & Positive Emotions:

  • Descriptively, viewers liked the heartwarming and inspiring execution of the Financial Service Providers TVC, especially when it spotlighted and described different individuals and various life stages. However, the ‘goal’ brand message toward the end of the TVC did not seem to resonate with viewers

Biometric Emotional Responses:

  • On average, viewers experienced a higher level of disgust towards the Financial Service Providers TVC due to the fact that they were confused by some of the scenes with-in the TVC. A few of the scenes in correlation with the voice over saw joy towards the TVC.

Moment-by-Moment Biometric Processing:

  • Viewers exert significantly more cognitive workload to understand the Financial Service Providers TVC due to the fast transitions between different scenes and this may have evoked confusion trying to follow the storyline.

Self Reported Survey & Qualitative Interview Thematic Analysis:

  • The Financial Service Providers TVC should be clear with their services, offers and products.

  • Financial Service Providers should provide great customer service and friendliness.

  • I am more attracted to Financial Service Providers with less fees

  • I go for Financial Service Providers that support local communities and events.

  • Financial Service Providers now have no face-to-face interaction as its all online now which reduces the personalised service.

  • Financial Service Providers that are not honest is a big no-go for me.


Conclusions and Recommendations - The Solution


Our tests provide a moment-by-moment breakdown of viewer attention and emotion, we are then able to provide concrete second-by-second recommendations about how best to optimize that particular ad. Our recommendations to enhance engagement and attention for the Financial Service Providers TVC are as follows:

  • Avoid the direct promotion of financial benefits and the use of a humorous execution as consumers have a general mistrust toward the finance industry and scepticism toward financial advice or services.

  • Maintain the use of individual spotlighting execution as this resonated with consumers and they found this to be heart-warming, authentic and inspirational.

  • Create a more targeted campaign or target more generic financial goals as the fast transition of multiple scenes in the TVC seem to confuse viewers and reduce relevance as well as resonance.

  • Consider focusing on the beginning of a life stage (or financial goal) as this execution seems to inspire and emotionally resonate with consumers.


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