Measuring Emotions & Attention in Your Ads with Eye Tracking Studies

Watch Dr. Aaron Reid, Chief Behavioral Scientist at Sentient Decision Science, do a live demonstration of eye tracking studies and emotion-measurement technology at a new product launch seminar at Harvard Business School.

Attention measurement through passive eye-tracking and an analysis of how “rational justification of the purchase” are highlights of this video from the Sentient Consumer Subconscious Research Lab.

Mercedes CLA is the product being launched, and implicit connections of the car and brand to important values of the target consumer are being reinforced throughout the spot.


>> DR. REID: So some of the techniques we use to measure this include eye-tracking… has anybody used eye-tracking in their research of new products? We’re going to show you a new demonstration here of how eye-tracking of a new product ad can tell you if you are actually connecting on the emotion points that you want to, as well as the rational justifications for purchase. This video is from the Mercedes launch this past year (they were on the list of our most memorable new products) for their $29,000 CLA car: a new product for Mercedes.

The right hand side is going to be running the ad, and simultaneously, on the left hand side you’re going to see a heat-map of where people look while they’re watching this ad. You’ll see it’s a very emotional ad to begin with, and then you’re going to see a rational justification for purchase at the end. See if you can figure out what that rational justification is.


>> DR. REID: Now this is just masterful. It’s amazing, huh? This is all over the airwaves right now, as it’s actually launched. On Sunday Night Football, you’ll see this ad over and over again.

Who’s the target audience for that product? Yeah, it’s the protagonist there. And, it’s obviously a very emotional ad. You can’t make that argument rationally: you buy this car and you’ll dance with Usher. You buy this car and you’ll do photo shoots with Kate Upton. You can’t make that rational argument, right? It’s an emotional ploy.

But what is the rational justification for purchase at the end then? Right, “I can afford that.” And did you see the study from the eye tracking? Did you see that heat-map? Right on that $29,000. It’s beautiful, beautiful manipulation… uh, excuse me. Beautiful advertising.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, there were a lot of similarities between that and one of the BMW higher series… the viral videos… the devil… the visuals of going off into the sunrise, or that there was a race with the devil, or the devil getting destroyed at the end. And, I didn’t know whether there was a conscious reason that they actually did that? Because there were so many similarities it was almost like, “was it the same director?”

>> DR REID: Yeah that’s interesting. Probably not the same director, but yea, very similar. And I think what they’re communicating there is that it’s an indulgence, right? But it’s a deserved indulgence for this individual.

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