Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Apr 8, 2013

Neuroscience shows online-video ads more emotive than traditional TV: Vivaki

BEIJING & WUHAN - Advertising efficiency is at least 1.713 times higher for online video ads than for traditional TV spots in terms of triggering positive emotional responses, according to a neuroscience study by VivaKi and Brain Intelligence.

Neuroscience shows online-video ads more emotive than traditional TV: Vivaki

Advertisements displayed on online video platforms perform better than those on traditional TV, according to VivaKi's latest study on internet advertising effectiveness, mainly due to resentment of the long stretches of ads on TV that can go up to 5-minute segments.

The study evaluated, ranked and compared 17 commercials (eleven 15-second spots and six 30-second spots) from advertisers L’Oreal, Coke, Reckitt Benckiser, General Mills, MengNiu, Mars, Wrigley, Mead Johnson, and Shanghai Jahwa. Participating video websites included Youku/Tudou, iQiyi, Sohu Video, LeTV, PPS, and PPTV.

The researchers put 120 consumers aged between 18 and 45 from Beijing and Wuhan through eye-tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) tests. Eye-tracking technology measures attention quality, while EEG detects brainwave activity. According to the neuroscience consultancy, these metrics are highly correlated with brand association and purchase intent.

The report expressed the overall advantageous cognitive impact of online video ads, usually 15- or 30-second pre-rolls, in terms of a  higher "visual-emotional score" (VES): 1 OTV impression = 1.713 TV impressions.

In fact, the research found that traditional TV ads actually trigger negative emotional responses. Consumers are less receptive because of typical resentment toward these ads breaking up programmes.

"Resentment may be further attributed to the long ad segments on traditional TV," said Caroline Ji, director of VivaKi Nerve Center China. There is also a seasonal factor. "In Wuhan for example, the level of tolerance during cold temperatures in winter there is lower, and makes consumers harbour ill will towards long adverts," she added.

Despite online-video ads evoking better emotional responses and recall effects than TV, the smaller screen size, as well as distractions on video webpages, make online video advertising less efective at attracting attention than TV, according to Ji.

"Both media channels are complementary to each other," Ji said. "We still recommend a cross-screen strategy that may be optimised with these results. For instance, advertisers can consider buying more online video ads in colder geographical areas or during certain seasons to achieve better brand awareness, purchasing intent and advertising acceptability."

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