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The IPG Media Lab and Affectiva Announce Winners of First Annual Neuromarketing Awards

CANNES, France, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mediabrands' IPG Media Lab and Affectiva today announced, at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the results of the first annual Neuromarketing Awards. Utilizing technology derived by MIT, Affectiva is able to record and measure viewers' tacit, non-verbal response to content.  Feature points, correlating to an individual's facial features are established and are then measured and analyzed.  The following categories were tested in the study: Promotion and Activation, Media and Cyber.  The content was ranked based upon three facial actions that indicate emotional states.  

Facial actions that indicate emotional states:

  • Smiles.  When viewers watch content, smiles and laughter typically correlate to enjoyment and amusement.
  • Lowered eyebrow.  This is a measure of the wrinkles that happen between the eyebrows. It typically correlates with negative emotions such as confusion or dislike.
  • Attention.  Affdex measures attention by looking at whether a person is facing the screen.

These indicators inform marketers and brands when a message is engaging, when it is confusing, or when an audience has a negative reaction, enabling them to measure and improve performance.  

The top four winners in each category were uploaded to a viewing station each morning and visitors of UM's Curiosity Zone, including delegates Martha Stewart and Michael Roth, IPG Chairman and CEO, participated in the study.

BV McCann Erickson, Bucharest's "American ROM" entry in the Promotion and Activation category was the overall winner in the study.  The submission was a stunt by Romanian chocolate maker ROM.  The company replaced its iconic candy bar wrapper with the American flag.  The company later ran a commercial spot where the company's CEO explained the joke.  In additional to having the best overall metrics, "American ROM" drew the most smiles and laughs in the scenes with its CEO character.  The scene, in which a Communist official has a girl arrested for "indecent" dress, drew the most confused/negative expressions.  Attention levels remained high throughout the video, with no drop-off at the end (which was typical for many of the videos). "American ROM" won two Grand Prix this week, for Promotion and Activation and in the direct category.

"The expression analysis in this case matches what the judges knew intuitively; in some cases, however, judges' may not guess correctly about the people," said Brian Monahan, EVP, Managing Partner, IPG Media Lab. "What's exciting about Affectiva's facial expression measurement is how it's a scalable way to get objective feedback about viewer's emotional response to your ad before you spend a lot on a campaign."

"There is a clear difference in people's facial responses to this entry than the other three entries we tracked," said Rana el Kaliouby, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Affectiva, Inc. in Waltham, Mass. "The great levels of attention and smiles, and the way they rise an peak at the end of the video, help explain why 'American ROM' is a winner."

For a complete list of rankings and winners, as well as an interactive view of the results data, visit:

About the IPG Media Lab

At the center of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands network, the IPG Media Lab helps clients and agencies put innovation into action. By creating opportunities for marketers to identify, formulate and test new approaches, the Lab mitigates risk through a process outside the normal campaign methodology. Employing creative thinking and a suite of proprietary research tools to understand how emerging media impacts purchase decisions, the Lab provides hands-on guidance, digital media insight and measurable results to clients. Our product framework is built around three fundamental pillars: Diagnosing Opportunity, Prioritization and Deployment.

About Affectiva

Founded in 2009, Affectiva grew out of collaborative research at the MIT Media Lab to help people on the autism spectrum. It applies innovations in affective computing to help understand how people feel in order to improve products and experiences. Affectiva's customers include leading companies and universities conducting market and clinical research. Its products include the Q™ Sensor wearable biosensor and Affdex facial expression recognition technology.

SOURCE Mediabrands
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