What effect does a TV advert have on a viewer? How does it bring about a change in their knowledge, emotions or intentions? These questions have existed alongside advertising ever since it began. Through a psycho-physiological study developed jointly by El Bureau de la Comunicacin, the Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research, and the UPV/EHU, it has been possible to measure the emotional response of a person to a series of television adverts.
The aim of the study, carried out for the first time entirely in the Basque Autonomous Community (region), was to shed some light on two main hypotheses: On the one hand, adverts with a social content that use negative images that show violence or disgust achieve a greater emotional impact that those with a content based on positive attitudes, and on the other, long commercials succeed in evoking a stronger emotional intensity than short ones.
Firstly, it was confirmed that long commercials are more effectively self-explained and adjust better to the anticipated emotions of the spectator than their short counterparts which evoke greater emotional "confusion". Longer adverts seem also to elicit stronger emotional responses in the person which is also true for negative social adverts. Secondly, adverts on social or moral behaviour (in both the positive and negative categories) achieve absolute values of emotional intensity that considerably outperform those of commercial adverts (both short and long ones).
These findings might help agencies, media organisations and advertisers to optimize the profitability of their campaigns.
40 films, 30 volunteers and a pulse meter
So far, the advances achieved by neuroscience have been based on technologies that employ cumbersome equipment that "tie" the subject to the laboratory and prevent his or her behaviour from being observed in a natural environment. Researchers at Tecnalia have devised a system that use readings from a standard
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