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Author Topic: Your brain on Super Bowl ads  (Read 3290 times)

Dood

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Your brain on Super Bowl ads
« on: Feb 06 06 11:29 »
[h3]Your brain on Super Bowl ads        [/h3]        Last night at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, neuroscientist [a href="http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/CBD/part%20faclt/bios/marcowebsite.html"]Marco Iacoboni[/a]and a group of researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) to measure brain responses in a observers watching Super Bowlcommercials. An initial report, with two winning ads and two losers, [a href="http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/iacoboni06_index.html"]is here[/a]. Updates expected throughout the day. Snip from Dr. Iacoboni's report: [/p][blockquote][img]http://www.boingboing.net/images/brainonsuperbowl.jpg" align="left" border="0" height="157" width="200"]Who won the Super Bowl ads competition? If a good indicator of asuccessful ad is activity in brain areas concerned with reward andempathy, two winners seem to be the 'I am going to Disney' ad and theBud 'office' ad. In contrast, two big floppers seem to be the Bud'secret fridge' ad and the Aleve ad. What is quite surprising, is thestrong disconnect that can be seen between what people say and whattheir brain activity seem to suggest. In some cases, people singled outads that elicited very little brain responses in emotional,reward-related, and empathy-related areas. [br clear="all"][/blockquote]Full text of "The Story of an Instant-Science Experiment: [a href="http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/iacoboni06_index.html"]Link[/a].
Image: A scan showing lively brain activity in response to the Michelob ad.

kitten

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Re: Your brain on Super Bowl ads
« Reply #1 on: Feb 06 06 11:38 »
That's a very interesting experiment.  Could you provide an update later on when the study is completed?  Thanks for posting this.
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Dood

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Re: Your brain on Super Bowl ads
« Reply #2 on: Feb 07 06 02:47 »
Someone asked for the final report, so here it is.
[font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"][em][/em][/font][/p][hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"][em]This              year, at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Marco              Iacoboni and his group used functional magnetic resonance imaging              (fMRI) to measure brain responses in a group of subjects while              they were watching the Super Bowl ads.
[/em][/font][em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]
              WHO REALLY WON THE SUPER BOWL?[/font][/em]
          [em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]The                    Story of an Instant-Science Experiment [/font][/em]
                    [em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]By                    Marco Iacoboni [/font][/em][/p]        [img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/iacoboni.jpg" height="218" width="161"][/p]        [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Commercials           are a part of our lives. We watch them, enjoy them, and discuss them           with our friends. Do commercials make us buy the product they advertise?           Nobody really knows. The most anticipated 'ad experience' is watching           the Super Bowl ads. After the game, there is a flurry of opinions from           marketing experts and focus groups of what was the most effective Super           Bowl ad. This year, at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center,           Marco Iacoboni and his group used functional magnetic resonance imaging           (fMRI) to measure brain responses in a group of subjects while they           watched the Super Bowl ads. The way fMRI works is relatively simple:           different levels of cerebral blood oxygenation have different magnetic           properties. Moreover, changes in blood oxygenation correlate with changes           in neural activity. Thus, without using any contrast agent, fMRI can           measure how much brain areas are activated during sensory, cognitive           and motor experiences.  [/font][/p]        [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]This very           first attempt at doing 'instant-science' is a collaborative effort between           Marco Iacoboni's group — a leading group in functional neuroimaging           — and FKF Applied Research, a marketing firm. The main idea behind           this project is that there is often a disconnect between what people           say about what they like — and the real, underlying deeper motives           that make us want and like some things and some people, but not others.           With fMRI, it is possible to look at unfiltered brain responses, to           measure how the ads shown today elicit emotions, induce empathy, and           inspire liking and wanting. So, to put it bluntly:[/font][/p]        [p align="left"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Who            really won the Super Bowl?[/font][/p]        [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Here is            Iacoboni's answer.[/font][/p][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]— [a href="http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/brockman.html"]JB[/a] [/font][/p]        [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]MARCO IACOBONI, MD PhD, is a neurologist and neuroscientist originally          from Italy. Today he is at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA,          where he serves on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and          Biobehavioral Sciences and is Director of the Transcranial Magnetic          Stimulation laboratory of the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center.          Iacoboni's lab is arguably the leading lab in human mirror neuron research          and he has a close relationship with Giacomo Rizzolatti in whose lab        mirror neurons were originally discovered in monkeys. [/font][/p]        [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"][a href="http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/iacoboni.html"]Marco Iacoboni's [em]Edge[/em] Bio page [/a][/font][/p]              [hr size="1" width="525"]                            [p align="left"][em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]WHO                    REALLY WON THE SUPER BOWL?[/font][/em]
                    [em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]The                    Story of an Instant-Science Experiment [/font][/em]
                    [em][font color="#003366" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]By Marco Iacoboni [/font][/em][/p]            [p align="center"][img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/image002.jpg" height="262" width="333"][/p]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]([font color="#ff0000" size="1"]-UPDATE- [/font]              the            Superbowl ads can be viewed on googlevideo at            the following: [a href="http://video.google.com/superbowl.html"]link[/a])[/font][/p]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]PART              I - 2.6.06
               The              Story of an Instant-Science Experiment
             
             
              Science has generally a very slow pace. It typically takes months — if              not years — to complete an experiment. Today, at the UCLA              Brain Mapping Center, my associates Jonas Kaplan, Eric Mooshagian,              and Stephen Wilson performed under my supervision an experiment              that lasted only few hours. True, we are still analyzing a good              60% of the data, but by tomorrow the 'instant-science experiment'              will be basically completed. The idea was to do brain imaging of              Super Bowl ads, and to do it the very same night the ads were shown              for the first time. With the help of FKF Applied Research and its              experience in advertising, we managed to upload digitized ads and              run the brain imaging experiment in five healthy volunteers. The              participating subjects were interviewed after the experiment, to              test whether the brain data collected in the scanner matched what              the subjects thought they liked or disliked. This is just a preliminary              report on the first analyses, I will be posting a final report              later today or tomorrow.
             
              Who won the Super Bowl ads competition? If a good indicator of              a successful ad is activity in brain areas concerned with reward              and empathy, two winners [span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"]seem to be the 'I am going to Disney' ad              and the Bud 'office' ad[/span]. In contrast, two big floppers              seem to be the Bud 'secret fridge' ad and the Aleve              ad. What is quite surprising, is the strong disconnect that can              be seen between what people say and what their brain activity seem              to suggest. In some cases, people singled out ads that elicited              very little brain responses in emotional, reward-related, and empathy-related              areas.
             
              Among the ads that seem relatively successful, I want to single              out the Michelob ad. Above is a picture showing the brain activation              associated with the ad. What is interesting is the strong response               — indicated by the arrow — in 'mirror neuron' areas,              premotor areas active when you make an action and when you see              somebody else making the same action. The activity in these areas              may represent some form of empathic response. Or, given that these              areas are also premotor areas for mouth movements, it may represent              the simulated action of drinking a beer elicited in viewers by              the ad. Whatever it is, it seems a good brain response to the ad.[/font][/p]            [p align="left"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]PART                II - 2.7.06
            [/font]
[font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Complete                  results of the instant-science              brain imaging experiment on Super Bowl ads[/font][/p]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]We                have now completed our analyses on the fMRI data from five healthy                volunteers that were studied last night at the UCLA Brain Mapping                Center while they were watching Super Bowl ads. We tested a total                of 24 ads, 21 Super Bowl ads and three ‘test ads’ that              were previously shown. Our results show that the overwhelming winner              among the Super Bowl ads is the Disney – NFL ‘I am              going to Disney’ ad. The Disney ad elicited strong responses              in orbito-frontal cortex and ventral striatum, two brain regions              associated with processing of rewards. Also, the Disney ad induced              robust responses in mirror neuron areas, indicating identification              and empathy. Further, the circuit for cognitive control, encompassing              anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, was              highly active while watching the Disney ad. We consider all these              features positive markers of brain responses to the ad. In second              place, the Sierra Mist ad, activated the same brain regions but              less so than the Disney ad.[/font][/p]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Considering                the hype surrounding the ads, I would say several ads performed                poorly when judged on the basis of the brain activity induced                in key areas for social behavior. However, the three biggest                flops seem to be the Burger King ad, the FedEx ad, and the GoDaddy              ad. Three quite interesting features that come out of this instant-study              are the following: first, people – when interviewed - tend              to say what they are expected to say, but their brain seems to              say the opposite. For instance, female subjects may give verbally              very low ‘grades’ to ads using actresses in sexy roles,              but their mirror neuron areas seem to fire up quite a bit, suggesting              some form of identification and empathy. Second, in some fMRI runs              we presented the same ad twice, just to test for habituation. We              saw strong habituation effects, such that the second time around              the commercial induces much weaker responses. Third -  and              this is probably interesting to neuroscientists – among brain              regions associated with complex social behavior, we observed a              mix of activation and de-activation. Only mirror neuron areas demonstrated              quite a systematic activation while watching the ads, a feature              that one generally sees only in perceptual areas, such as auditory              and visual areas. This suggests that mirroring is a fairly automatic              processing. However, in mirror neuron areas we did observe different              degrees of activation.[/font][/p]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Finally,                the highlights of the day. This is the brain activity of one                of our subjects recorded while the subject was watching the Disney                ad. Both mirror neuron areas and ventral striatum – indicated              by the yellow arrows – are engaged by the ad.[/font][/p]            [table border="0" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="5" width="100%"]              [tbody][tr]                [td][p align="center"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"][img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/superbowlbrain2.jpg" height="387" width="452"][/font][/p]                  [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Mirror                    neuron activity in the right posterior inferior frontal gyrus – indicating                    identification and empathy - while watching the Disney/NFL                ad.[/font][/p][/td]              [/tr]            [/tbody][/table]            [hr noshade="noshade" size="1"]            [table border="0" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="5" width="100%"]              [tbody][tr]                [td][p align="center"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"][img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/superbowlbrain3.jpg" height="329" width="420"][/font][/p]                  [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Ventral                      striatum activity – indicating reward processing                - while watching the Disney/NFL ad[/font].[/p][/td]              [/tr]            [/tbody][/table]            [hr noshade="noshade" size="1"]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"]Another            interesting finding is the following one. Remember the end of the            FedEx ad, when the caveman is crushed by the dinosaur? We looked            at the activity in the amygdala, a tiny brain structure (see picture            below) critical for emotional processing in general, especially responding            to threat and fearful stimuli. [/font]            [table border="0" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="5" width="100%"]              [tbody][tr]                [td][p align="center"][img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/superbowlbrain4.jpg" height="429" width="450"][/p]                [/td]              [/tr]            [/tbody][/table]                        [hr noshade="noshade" size="1"]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]There is a big jump in amygdala activity when the dinosaur crushes              the caveman, as shown below. The scene looks funny and has been described              as funny by lots of people, but your amygdala still perceives it              as threatening, another example of disconnect between verbal reports              on ads and brain activity while viewing the ads.            [/font][/p]            [table border="0" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="5" width="100%"]              [tbody][tr]                [td][img]http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/iacoboni06/images/superbowlbrainchart.gif" height="354" width="500"][/p]                  [p align="left"][font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]Activity                    in the amygdala while watching the FedEx ad. The ad lasts                    45 seconds and the caveman crushing is shown toward the end                    (approximately where the black arrow is). There is a large                    increase in neural activity in the amygdala when the dinosaur                crushes the caveman.[/font][/p][/td]              [/tr]            [/tbody][/table]                        [hr noshade="noshade" size="1"]            [font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"]If you want to know more about these analyses, and have a more              savvy advertising oriented angle of this project, look into the              FKF Applied Research web site ([a href="http://www.fkfadrank.com/superbowl"]www.fkfadrank.com/superbowl[/a]).              Without the inspiration, help and expertise of FKF Applied Research            this project could not have happened.
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kitten

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Re: Your brain on Super Bowl ads
« Reply #3 on: Feb 07 06 03:02 »
Thank you very much for the follow-up.  It was interesting and I appreciate you taking the time to post this.
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