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Commercial eye tracking

Eye Tracking in Advertising: did they see my ad?

By Diede Vendrig
Persuasion Artist

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What does the ideal advertising look like? Funny, shocking or maybe just incredibly annoying?

As a marketer, we ultimately want only one thing: advertising that sells.

However, there is something difficult about marketing and advertising. It’s impact will occur unconsciously, nine times out of ten. And although viewers can tell us what they think of advertising, the predictive value on purchasing behaviour appears disappointingly low.

Fortunately, there’s good news. There are more sophisticated methods to measure if your advertisement will have an impact. Simply by looking at the viewer.

Yes, you read that right.

Neuromarketing offers groundbreaking biometric research methods, which reveal the unconscious drivers of purchasing behaviour. For decades they were hidden deep within the mind of the consumer. Now they are finally measurable and help you to analyse advertisements on their effectiveness beforehand.

In this blog, we confront the advertising research battle with two neuromarketing methods: Eye Tracking and EEG. Together, they allow you to determine exactly how your customers look at an advertisement and – even more interesting – which emotions and motivations are triggered.

Eye tracking: where is the customer really looking at?

Let’s start with the most essential research tool for advertising research: Eye Tracking. To say something meaningful about the effectiveness of advertising, we must first determine how people visually process our endeavours. Eye Tracking does exactly that.

Eye Tracking technology can calculate with millimetre precision where people watch. Extremely accurate infrared beams track every single eye movement, allowing you to learn exactly on how much attention each pixel can count. 

This way, we can determine whether the brand and/or product succeeds in attracting and retaining attention. Even more valuable: you will discover which elements are unintentionally distracting your viewers.

The latter is a real assassin for advertising effectiveness. Sometimes, essential branding elements such as logo, slogan, product and packaging are visually overshadowed by other advertising elements. Consider the bright purple blouse from the neighbour or the orange planter in the corner of the room.

Can the plot keep the attention? Are texts being read? Are logos being seen? Eye Tracking research provides hard answers to these classic advertising questions.

An attractive part of contemporary Eye Tracking systems is that heavy, uncomfortable and disturbing headsets belong to the past.

With remote Eye Tracking, the research environment is more realistic than ever. Do not hesitate to make Eye Tracking advertising research more pleasant with a comfortable sofa and a nice bowl of chips. Just like home.

Start With Eye Tracking

Discover how your customers look at your website, product, packaging, commercial or store. Eye Tracking gives you valuable insights and actionable improvements.

Contact us now!

Output of Eye Tracking in Advertising: heatmaps and Area of Interest analysis

What does the output of Eye Tracking research look like? Does the research provide us with information on how to make the advertising in question more effective?

The answer: hell yes!

First of all, Eye Tracking provides you with gaze map videos. These videos will show you exactly where individual participants point their attention. When aggregated, the videos provide organized beeswarm-heat maps containing Eye Tracking data from all respondents. All viewing patterns come together like a swarm of bees. The more overlap, the more saturated the Eye Tracking heatmap. You will learn which moments of your ad attract universal attention, and when it diverges.

This is just one of the many questions that Eye Tracking provides an answer for advertisers. Often, you just want to learn the effectiveness of a specific element. For instance, the brand logo during a product close-up. Or a recurring character halfway through the commercial.

Through an Area of Interest analysis, you obtain viewing statistics from several specific key areas that interest you. They illuminate which visual elements perform great in attracting and maintaining attention, but also which elements may kill the sale of your product. An Area of Interest analysis provides the following information about the selected area:

Time To First Fixation (TTFF):

Indicates the extent to which something grasps attention automatically; without effort. These are the elements that provide the initial focus for the commercial.

First Fixation Duration (FFD):

Gives an indication of stopping power, the interest in the message element. In other words, the elements that holds the attention for advertising.

Total Fixation Duration (TFD):

Gives an indication of motivated attention.

Eyeball Count (EC):

The number of participants that observed a specific area. Gives an indication of universal versus personal appeal.

Fixation Count (FC):

The number of times a participant looked back to an area of interest. Attractive elements are viewed more frequently than once.

These areas of interest provide concrete starting points. So you can start immediately to make you advertising even better.

But there is one more thing: emotion.

Find the emotions behind the advertisement: Eye Tracking with EEG

So, with Eye Tracking we can see exactly where people look at in an advertisement. While extremely valuable, you also want to know what people think and feel at those moments.

Good news: you can. The world of advertising research does not stop at Eye Tracking.

By combining Eye Tracking with EEG and/or Emotion Recognition, you get a deeper picture of the emotional experience that the commercial triggers. 

Not only will you discover where people poke their eyes in your ad, but the emotions and motivations evoked as well. With EEG, you can measure to what extent the commercial is memorable, easy to process and even if it evokes positive or negative emotions. This response correlates in turn with the ultimate purchasing behaviour in the market.

The combination with Eye Tracking shows you exactly what specific advertising elements are responsible for these emotional reactions. Want to learn more about EEG in advertising and marketing? Read about it at the EEG info page.

The toolbox of Unravel Research includes Eye Tracking, EEG and Emotion Recognition. We use modern and comfortable equipment to determine the most reliable advertising effectiveness and to bring to light opportunities for improvement. It is indispensable research before launching a serious campaign.

Wondering how we are able, with Eye Tracking and EEG, to give your advertisement more impact on the customer? Contact Unravel Research and be inspired by the potential of neuromarketing. 

Commercial eye tracking