A pilot marketing project could represent the future of advertising.
Face scanning technology from UK-based CrowdEmotion was recently used to measure how people responded, both consciously and subconsciously, to marketing campaigns on BBC.com.
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The study asked 5,000 people to view advertising and while they did, cameras recorded their reactions in real time.
Folks from the BBC wanted to go beyond surveys and focus groups to see whether audiences responded positively - or not - to content clearly labeled as coming from a specific brand.
The data gathered from the cameras was processed through a special algorithm to analyze facial movements and emotions, which were slotted into six categories: sadness, puzzlement, happiness, fear, rejection and surprise.
If you could see me now, you might pick up puzzlement and fear.
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However, for the test subjects, results from their expressions showed at the very least that people's subconscious positive reactions went up 14 percent when content was clearly marked.
In a separate test, BBC Worldwide got permission to install webcams in the homes of 200 in the UK and then asked them watch a variety of television shows. Other similar tests were conducted in Russia and Australia.
There's a high level of creepiness here that cannot be denied, although the BBC assures everyone that they are just trying to get a better understanding of viewer tastes in order to hone programming.
Another reason I prefer books.