Bridgestone Beaver

Lots of people look forward to the Super Bowl. While most eagerly anticipate the on-field action, a significant portion of the game’s TV viewers pay more attention to the ads. (If you are reading this, you are likely one of the latter!) Then, there’s the smaller set of neuromarketing-types that want to see how viewers’ brains react to the ads. 2011 is no exception, as Sands Research will conduct its fourth annual neurological analysis and ranking of all 70+ television advertisements running during the Super Bowl. As in past years, Sands technicians will use EEG and eye-tracking to rank the spots based on what they call their Neuro Engagement Score (NES).

Every big game needs a winner and a loser, so Sands is tweaking its scoring this year. In addition to identifying the top 5 ads, they will list the “worst” three ads based on their evaluation of viewer emotions.

Coca Cola Ogre

Want to see what to expect in this year’s Super Bowl Ads? CNN offers a sneak peek.

To get an idea of what we’ll eventually see from Sands, here’s their “brain movie” that shows how viewers react to the Google “Parisian” ad, which I wrote about in The Power of Text:

This post comes with my annual caution about assuming brain scans will correctly predict actual business results – see Super Bowl Ads: GoDaddy Girl 1, Neuroscientists 0. Every ad has different objectives: branding, product awareness, web traffic, product sales, etc. The final test isn’t whether the ad is entertaining or engaging (neurologically or otherwise), but whether it delivers the desired business result.

Let the games begin!