Social Media Ads Beat TV

Visa “Trip for Life” TV Spot from VisaGoWorld on Vimeo.

Last week, neuromarketing firm Neurofocus released summary results of a study that compared the performance of the same ad when run on television and on two Internet websites, Facebook and a website controlled by the advertiser. The commercial tested was “Trip For Life,” part of VISA’s multimedia campaign built around the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Neurofocus conducted these tests for its own research purposes, not because they were commissioned by the advertiser.)

According to Neurofocus, social media can be particularly powerful for marketing communications. The major findings they reported are:

•Highest overall effectiveness for the ad, especially with women: Facebook
•Purchase intent generated by the ad: highest on both Facebook and TV
•Messaging carried by the ad strongest on: Internet platform, with Facebook stronger than website
•Highest attention-getter: Internet
•VISA brand perception lifted most strongly: TV

[From NeuroFocus Defines New 'Social Operating System' as Critical Component of 21st Century Marketing.]

The information released by Neurofocus didn’t provide details of how they collected the data, but typically the firm uses EEG as its primary tool for measuring viewers’ emotional reactions to ads and products. Presumably, “purchase intent” was determined by conventional questionnaire or interview.

One conclusion drawn by A. K. Pradeep, Neurofocus CEO, is that advertisers need to focus on what the firm calls the new “Social Operating System.” Facebook, for example, is no longer just a website accessed via computers; it can be viewed on many televisions and phones as well. Pradeep notes, “The medium is no longer the message; instead, it’s context that influences how consumers conceive of your brand.”

Considering the relatively weak results reported by many advertisers on Facebook, these findings are interesting. Likely the fact that this was a video commercial rather than a banner ad, and that it was viewed on a fan page vs. on an unrelated content page, were factors in the observed performance.

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— who has written 956 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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