Rick Boost
Dec 19, 2017

BBC toolkit rates emotional impact of sponsored content

A qualitative technique to master consumer reactions?

BBC toolkit rates emotional impact of sponsored content

A newly released toolkit by BBC StoryWorks could help clients determine the level of emotional engagement that their branded content and sponsored editorial pieces trigger in consumers. The content toolkit is based on using a series of qualitative tests to understand of the subconscious attitudes and association shifts that a consumer may have towards a product.

The initiative from BBC Advertising’s global content marketing section is claimed to achieve these results by blending biometric and psychological data gathering methods. CrowdEmotion facial coding technology monitors a user’s reaction to content by measuring six key emotional states. Concurrently, eye-tracking equipment is used to follow a user’s gaze for the duration of the test, allowing a connection to be made between what a subject is viewing to its emotional resonance. Comparative surveys are also taken before and after viewing the material, in order to ascertain the full effect it may have had. These cover traditional brand metrics (such as brand awareness, message association, favourability, and purchasing intent) and are contrasted against a control sample.

The methodology builds on the BBC’s multi-award winning series of ‘Science of Engagement’ research studies, which highlighted the impact of emotional engagement on brand perception.

In a statement, Richard Pattinson, senior vice-president at BBC StoryWorks said, “Proving the effectiveness of content for brands is a challenge across the industry and we’re incredibly proud to have harnessed the expertise built up through years of in-depth research to offer clients a way of truly understanding the impact of their campaigns, using this unique combination of scientific tools.”

BBC StoryWorks believes the toolset will allow expeditious feedback on insight for their clients and partners, having trialled it successfully on the Asia-Pacific content series, Huawei: The Explorers. That particular study demonstrated evidence of strong emotional feedback and improved engagement with the Huawei brand following content viewing.


Pattinson said, “As we continue to roll out this system, we will build on the insights to further reveal how our storytelling can create the right emotional engagement to enable our clients to maximise the impact of the campaigns we deliver with them.”

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