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Measuring ad campaigns across platforms is an increasingly important task, but as yet still difficult to measure. Many companies are trying to figure out how to measure disparate media and now Microsoft is trying to bridge that gap with a new measurement called cross media engagement.
Together with Mediabrands, the software giant used neuroscience technologies to measure ads run by Kia Motors and Hyundai. The study found that ads viewed on Xbox LIVE are more effective than traditional video ads. And while it may not be an option to install neuroscience monitors on computers nationwide, the technology could prove effective at judging consumer reactions to differing platforms in controlled settings.
In addition to using behavioral metrics and survey results, Microsoft and Mediabrands conducted the study using biosensory data to discern what participants thought and felt about the ads. EmSense, a leading neuroscience company, fitted participants with a headset that tracked brain activity, breathing rate, head motion, heart rate, blink rate and skin temperature.
The study found that viewers spent more time, had greater recall and higher levels of emotional and cognitive engagement with Xbox LIVE campaigns than traditional 30 and 60 second spots.
According to Mark Kroese, general manager of the Microsoft Advertising Business Group:
"We know from our standard performance metrics that our Xbox LIVE campaign is effective. What's compelling about this research is that we now know that consumers are making an emotional connection with Kia Motors America as well."
The study followed self-reported responses after vewing the ads, behavioral and bio-sensory measures during the experience, and emotional and congitive response to branding.
Microsoft is very excited about the possibilities of mixing user reported data and actual experiences. Says Kroese:
"If we can truly crack the code on this, marketers and advertisers will be able to pinpoint solid ROI on dollars spent and know which campaigns in which media are yielding the greatest impact.”
Alone neuroscience measurements like blink rate and brain activity would be hard to authenticate in their relation to specific ads versus other stimuli at any moment. Together with user reported data, this could be helpful. If Microsoft could find a bio-sensory way to measure purchase intent, we'd really be getting somewhere.