Ads on the brain

Don't be seduced by methodologies that are consumer-grade

Jeromy Lloyd April 25, 2016

Neruromarketing has been around long enough for a number of companies to form a vendors’ market. But with that comes a range in service quality. Equipment that can measure brain activity has become affordable (toymakers are even using it to make “brain-controlled” toys), but Diana Lucaci, founder of True Impact and chair of the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association’s Canadian arm, has a warning for marketers: “Don’t be seduced by methodologies that are consumer-grade.”

As a keynote speaker at Marketing‘s AdTech Canada conference, Lucaci said cheap headsets that simply measure “happy” and “angry” parts of the brain—the frontal cortex—just don’t cut it. “It’s like using a digital camera with low resolution.” Truly understanding a consumer’s biological response to an ad requires multiple measures and points of reference. Charting an ad’s journey through the brain requires a very detailed map.


“When you like what you’re looking at, the frontal left part of the brain works harder than the right. When you don’t like what you’re looking at, the frontal right cortex is more activated.” But unless you know what a consumer is specifically reacting to by using eye tracking, a simple left-brain reaction could be about something unrelated to your message.


The visual cortex activates when someone looks at something. True Impact tracks eye movement as it measures brain activity to determine what part of a given ad elicits a reaction.


“That’s where you go to see if something’s encoded into memory.” Did your consumer engage enough to commit resources to remember an ad?