Case Studies | Consumer Neuroscience
Find out how Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience helped the Ad Council develop an ad that significantly improved emotional engagement, messaging and branding – and ultimately won a David Ogilvy award for excellence in advertising research.
The Ad Council set out to inspire fathers to be more involved in their children’s lives. They collaborated with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to test their “Cheerleader” ad, in which a father is seen enthusiastically participating in a cheer routine with his young daughter. Nielsen applied their full suite of neuroscience tools to capture a holistic understanding of consumer response.
Powerful, successful advertisements often push audiences to the edge of emotion, but never over. With a life-threatening cause on the line, it was crucial that DKMS, a blood cancer donation center, deliver their emotional message carefully in order raise awareness and elicit action from the audience. DKMS set out with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience pro bono to test their impressionable creative, an ad that serves as an allegory for the dangers of blood cancers and the repercussions of low donor rates.
Whether you’re on the treadmill, sitting in traffic, or watching a commercial, music impacts mood and biases us on a non-conscious level. There’s no question that music is a powerful influence on the brain, a fact that a German financial institute recognized when collaborating with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to test the effect that music had on their ad’s ability to communicate the idea of “trust.”
The booking process can be a necessary evil when planning a vacation, a hassle that the UK based travel site ontheBeach.co.uk seeks to alleviate. Whereas past stand-alone survey testing had determined whether an ad was positive, On the Beach sought to understand the “why’s” and “why not’s” behind ad failures or successes. During ad testing done with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, On the Beach was soon to learn whether their trusted fallbacks were really working to build brand awareness.
Sensitive topics like child abuse can be the most important, yet sometimes the most difficult, to publicize effectively. Instituto Liberta, a Brazilian non-profit organization, put forth an ad campaign with the intent to raise awareness and report instances of child sexual exploitation. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience provided insights that helped Liberta present the sensitive content in a way that strengthened the message that there should be no confusion when it comes to reporting child abuse.
To paraphrase Pascal, “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.” Just as it can take more effort to write a concise letter, it often requires more effort to cut content in an ad once created. This is especially crucial in an industry where air time is proportional to cost. In the quest to shave off time and expense, the British multinational Vodafone recruited Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to employ their compression algorithm on one of their ads. This ability to condense creative without damaging the storyline was tantamount to success.
Improving communications with the fast-growing Hispanic Millennials segment requires a thorough understanding of the impact of language. Do they react differently to a message in Spanish vs. one in English? What is the best way to connect with them, and does the language of the TV programming influence how an ad is received? Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience partnered with Univision to understand how best to engage this audience.
By now, many of us have seen Toyota’s award-winning advertising featuring “Jan” the receptionist as their spokesperson for its national sales events and product updates. But how did they decide on the right talent? Toyota worked with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to determine which talent would best deliver an emotional connection with viewers.
Advertising during the Super Bowl is notoriously the most expensive media ad buy, but sadly not all ads are successful in market. How can we understand which ads are most emotionally engaging? In order to understand which ads broke through the clutter, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience conducted a study on multiple ads to understand the “what” and “why” behind consumers’ emotional responses.
Budweiser aimed to be the first global beer brand by connecting with consumers on universally important emotions. As they expanded on successful themes, they wanted to ensure they were engaging with consumers as effectively as possible. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience helped to evaluate early-stage creative to help in the development of the new campaign.
New brand launches can be highly complex, and advertising campaigns can make or break its success. In order to ensure that Lycra®, an unknown brand to younger shoppers, would be successful, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience partnered with Invista to test emotional responses to a variety of campaign elements.
Emotions understandably play a critical role in dating. So when it came to eHarmony, they knew they needed to ensure that their creative truly optimized consumer engagement and drove brand awareness. By helping them to identify areas of improvement, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience was able to suggest critical creative edits and improve their campaign.
Goats and elephants and beers? Oh my. Heineken aspired to create a TV ad that captured the exotic and adventurous nature of its product. In the whirlwind of the ad, set during a vibrant Indian festival, the storyline was lost as viewers became distracted and overloaded between scenes. Heineken worked with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to identify this problem on a granular level and highlight the exact points in the ad at which improvements could be made.
We’ve been told to never judge a book by its cover, an idiom that doesn’t hold true in the magazine industry. New Scientist, a London-based science magazine, teamed up with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to test 3 cover design options for an upcoming issue. What design elements make a magazine cover eye-catching, intriguing, and a must-buy?
Native advertising has been increasing in popularity, but advertisers do not always know how to engage with this format. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience worked with Yahoo! to understand how consumers react to both static and video digital native ads across platforms and developed best practices for those looking to leverage native advertising opportunities.
Given the marketplace clutter of varying ad formats, the Online Publisher Association wanted to understand the effectiveness of new ad units they were proposing. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience helped to understand which formats drove greater attention and engagement.
Today’s digital world requires us to ensure our ads reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. But are there ways to improve targeting? Yahoo! worked with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to develop guidelines for developing more effective online targeting.
Liberal Arts universities have encountered mounting pressure in recent years as STEM-based classes and careers have grown in popularity. With skyrocketing tuitions costs and student debt, liberal arts advocates are motivated to promote the values of a holistic education. Lipman Hearne collaborated with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to asses which marketable qualities of a liberal arts education resonated most strongly with different consumer groups, targeting the best phrases to inspire the next generation of scholars to enroll.
The healthy living and eating movement permeating our society is stronger than ever. Whether it’s the result of trendy Instagram handles, foodies taking over the blogosphere, or the release of medical studies – it’s clear that the health-conscious market is here to stay. Although popular, some health foods still carry the stigma of being tasteless or bad tasting. Andy’s Crisps wanted to promote their line of gluten free crackers without losing the support of those who might associate “gluten free” with a different (or even blander) taste. Working with Andy’s Crisps, Nielsen used neuroscience measures to identify how to best communicate “gluten free” across international markets.
There are over 170,000 words in the English dictionary, each with their own nuances and meanings. Advertisers are in the difficult position of choosing just the right combination of words to communicate their brand, often finding themselves missing their intended mark. This is a situation Bob’s Bourbon wanted to avoid. Bob’s teamed up with Nielsen to test key phrases and messaging, striving to identify which words best promoted their distinct brand. Out of the countless phrases that could be used to describe bourbon, Nielsen helped to identify the exact language that would entice buyers, differentiate their premium product, drive sales and penetrate a national market.
Can neuroscience be used to understand pack design and how it interacts with consumers at shelf? Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience helped Campbell’s to combat declining sales by learning how shoppers engage with products, and by understanding how shelf layouts, groupings and communications influence the buying process.
Immersive technology and virtual reality were once technologies of the future. But now, these systems have jumped off the pages of sci-fi novels and become realistic marketing tools for the next generation of TV brand advertisers. As these immersive technologies become more mainstream, the demand for guides on creating content for these systems has never been higher. YuMe partnered with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to study the impact of immersive content in this new age of advertising.
Social media is all the buzz, but what is its effect on actual TV program engagement? Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience worked with Twitter to understand if they correlate positively to one another, and what it means for better engaging with viewers.
Millennials continue to captivate the media and advertisers, as they reflect a step-change in habits and behaviors that marketers must address. To help Turner better connect with Millennials given their high media device usage, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience evaluated their emotional response to understand the impact of second screens and apps on their viewing experience.
Today’s multimedia, multi-platform world continues to challenge media professionals and advertisers as they try to reach audiences across generations. In order to understand how different generations navigate various platforms, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience identified themes, trends, and best practices for reaching different age groups.
Fox Sports was concerned about declines in viewership for NASCAR, one of the most popular sports in the U.S. In order to evaluate a new proposed format of advertising, double box (splitting the screen between the ads and the race during commercial breaks), Fox Sports worked with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to understand audience engagement of this format during live sporting events. Could this new format be a win-win for both advertiser and viewer?
Can emotions be measured on different sensory inputs, such as scent and music? Procter & Gamble wanted to understand the emotional connection of the scent of a new line extension for Gain laundry detergent by measuring it against another known sensory input: sound. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience helped to understand the relationship of scent and music and how best to leverage it in new marketing efforts.
Product designs can undoubtedly drive sales impact, but can you predict its effect on sales even before launch? Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience worked with Mimico, a maker of designer USB flash drives, to understand emotional responses to various designs and to guide website layout and production plans.
Software companies marketing tax preparation can now attract more new customers online, due to dwindling pen-and-paper tax returns. Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience worked with Intuit’s TurboTax to understand emotional resonance of doing online tax returns, developing the best redesign that the website had seen in five years.