Volkswagen Darth Vader ad with Sands trackingThe Super Bowl may be the biggest sports event of the year and the biggest advertising event of the year, but it’s also the biggest event of the year for neuromarketing companies. With $3 million being spent on every 30 second spot, you can be sure that lots of advertisers rang up their favorite neuromarketing firm to get a neuro-opinion on their ad approach. Super Bowl ad prices make an investment in a neuromarketing study look cheap.

There are always some neuromarketing companies that analyze all the ads being shown to declare winners and losers. Sometimes, they are on the mark – last year, Sands Research gushed over the scores racked up by Volkswagen’s Darth Vader ad, and consumer appreciation for the ad matched their enthusiasm. A few years back, an fMRI study goofed by declaring a GoDaddy ad dead on arrival; in fact, it produced the biggest web traffic boost of any ad that year (see Super Bowl Ads: GoDaddy Girl 1, Neuroscientists 0).

Sands Research

This year, several firms will be looking at the ads in depth. Sands Research will again be ranking every ad based on their measurements of viewer engagement. They use both EEG and eye tracking; this combination provides data not just on brain activity but what the viewer is looking at when the activity occurs. Here’s what a compiled “brain movie” looks like:

Innerscope Research

The new Time Warner Media Lab in New York City will be the focal point of a bowl watching party where viewers will be fitted with biometric belts, not to measure their guacamole and chicken wing consumption but to gauge their reaction to the ads. The neuromarketing technology in the lab is provided by Innerscope Research. We tried to get details of their game plan (so to speak), but at time of publication information was limited.

It’s possible other Super Bowl neuromarketing studies will be conducted this year, too. Stay tuned here for all the results!