How measurement can change advertising…

The big question is this a creative director’s worst nightmare?

Direct Marketing creatives have long been forced to consider results alongside aesthetics and concept in creating ads.  Either people respond or they don’t and it is usually anywhere between 3 days (for email) and 3 weeks (for direct mail) before you find out.

Now this level of measurement is coming to advertising.  Whether it is social media reaction, % of watches versus fast forwards on DVRs, or clicks on tablets, our industry will be measured.  And it will change the creative we produce because we have been hired as professional marketing consultants to get results, not as professional designers to deliver creative.  The more we add science to our craft to match the magic of a great idea, the better we’ll all be.

Does the collective subconscious of 90 people make a better judge than 1 Gerry Moira?

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Gerry Moira Chairman & Director of Creativity, Euro RSCG says that this is a great ad:

Award Winning Freelander Ad

Award Winning Freelander Ad.

He awarded it best ad of the month in The Anna’s saying “Against a long term car park of ads with shiny metal boxes, this ad employs a confident and differentiated use of illustration…”
But does it sell? We wanted to find out if it was effective in communicating key messages of ‘0% APR Typical*’ and ‘Why get a car when you can get a Land Rover?’
We tested it with 30 appropriate people recruited via in street intercepts to avoid any bias from a self-selecting sample who had opted in to be part of a market research panel. We tracked where their eyes looked and recorded their subconscious emotional reactions using facial coding whilst they looked at an appropriate publication that included the Freelander ad.

The heatmap shows what 30 readers looked at:

Eye Tracking Results From 30 Viewers

Eye Tracking Results From 30 Viewers.

And the final ad that a scientific analysis of “engagement” shows…
Final ad based on measurement

Tablet Technology – Apple to launch Eye Tracking?

Is this a great piece of technology that really could change the game — if it can be made practical?  Or as CES closes and everyone waits for Apples big release, are the rumours just building to get us all engaged.

Recombu does a nice piece of analysis on why it is possible.  And even why it would be a very Apple thing to do.

Apple has historically adapted niche input methods and popularised them for a mainstream audience. It did it with the computer mouse in 1984, and then again with the touchscreen in 2007. Both technologies had languished in esoteric devices, or in the case of the mouse, in the labs of Xerox Parc. To imagine today’s PC without a mouse is unthinkable. The inclusion of eye-tracking tech in the company’s forthcoming tablet would be Job’s magnum opus. What better flourish to a career that began with the popularisation of windows, icons, mouse and pointer than to usurp them all?

And there is a bit of substance in the a patent application in place and reported purchase of eye tracking units from Swedish technology company Tobii.
Overall to me I’d be surprised if the iSlate launches with real eye tracking.  I’m still waiting for decent voice recognition before I buy into an electroencephalographic headset to finish my powerpoint presentation.

Interesting Eye Tracking Links:

http://www.simpleusability.com/services/usability/eye-tracking/demo – interesting video of eye tracking controlling a mouse
http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2006/06/13/eyetracking-worth-the-expense/ – some of the learning of eye tracking research / heat mapping on website usage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw&feature=player_embedded – classic video of headtracking’s impact on the Wii experience