Measuring effectiveness of advertisements using neurophysiological and behavioural metrics

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Title: Measuring effectiveness of advertisements using neurophysiological and behavioural metrics
Author: Jakkli, Meera
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: Neural Oscillations at large-scale local and global neural synchrony levels can be detected at the scalp using electroencephalography. This neural activity presents itself in a varied range of frequencies referred to as ‘Brain Waves’. These frequency bands have cognitive significance and have been implicated in several neural functions due to its important role in communicating with functionally-similar but spatially-distinct brain regions. Frontal Asymmetry is the difference in activity between the right and left hemispheres in frontal areas of the brain recorded via EEG and is seen to be a strong indicator of emotional states. Specifically, approach and withdrawal motivation which have been associated with positive and negative emotions respectively. Using a combination of behavioural and physiological methods in measuring preference and responses gives us an accurate representation of the participant responses. In this study, three tests were conducted during a continuous EEG recording. Test 1: The implication of inducing a positive mood before the onset of stimulus line-up and the extent of its effect on emotions and alpha asymmetry is not extensively studied. In this test, we employed the use of an instrumental soundscape for one experimental group before beginning the stimulus presentation to test this effect against a ‘silent’ control group. Test 2: This test aims to compare the participants’ physiological measures (EEG) and behavioural self-reports to audio advertisement stimuli consisting of different categories of music: ‘Brand music’ vs. ‘Campaign’ music or ‘No music’ Controls. Test 3: There is ambiguity in research regarding how frontal alpha asymmetry as measured by EEG and self-report preferences might change with changing the format of the advertisement to: only Audio, Audiovisual and Silent videos. There has been contradictory evidence regarding the impact of music on an individual’s emotions and consequent memory and decision-making. This thesis delves into these questions through the post-study behavioural test and simple binary choice paradigm that measure the above-mentioned in relation with the stimuli presented to participants. Our results did not show a significant difference in frontal asymmetry in the stimulus presentation across the three tests conducted during EEG recording. The behavioural data however indicated significant preference in behavioural self-report ratings for Brand Music- associated stimuli in Test 2 and for Audiovisual advertisement stimuli in Test 3. Results also revealed a significant correlation between ratings given to a stimulus and post-study memorability. The final binary choice paradigm test indicated higher preference to products related to stimulus presentation (‘advertised’ brand) vs similar products not related to the presented stimulus (‘non-advertised’ brand). We anticipate that these results will further help us understand and predict general preferences that can help companies, government policy-makers and the general public be more aware and better equipped to manage their valuable resources of money, time, attention and memory.
Subject: Frontal Asymmetry
Advertisement Effectiveness
Neural Oscillations

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