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Outdoor ads invest in neuroscience
Australian Financial Review, Australia  by Max Mason
03 Jun 2019
Companies and Markets - Page 18 - 444 words - ID 1128755337 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 301.00cm2

Australia's outdoor advertising sector is investing $1.3 million in a neuroscience study to measure links between its ads and subconscious memory, which will be used to develop a new metric for advertisers.

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has commissioned research firm Neuro-Insight to conduct the study. The $1.3 million invested into the Neuroscience Project Study is part of $10 million committed by the industry for the development of a better way for advertisers to track the effectiveness of their campaigns. The OMA includes 35 companies, including oOh!media, JCDecaux and QMS.

"We are very aware that we need to have a more up-to-date digital measurement system," OMA chief executive Charmaine Moldrich said. "It's not an easy code to crack."

OMA was encouraged by the results of a pilot study that showed different levels of engagement with digital signage versus traditional static ads. It locked in Neuro-Insight for a full-scale study across the country.

The new study will develop highquality videos that mimic the view of a person moving through environments where they come into contact with signage, such as shopping centres, highways and transport hubs.

After watching the videos, during which their eye movements will be tracked, subjects will undergo memory testing relating to brands they have been exposed to.

"It really is a measure of how an ad, brand, or message, gets in and is processed subconsciously by a consumer out there in the real world," NeuroInsight director Peter Pynta said. "Usually when you ask someone about whether they've been impacted by advertising, they say no."

Mr Pynta said those participating in the study will be familiar with the environment they are shown - for example, a volunteer from Sydney's inner west may be shown a video of the City West Link highway. He said that was an important aspect in making sure results could be measured because subjects would quickly assimilate to the environment.

"The market and clients are really demanding an insight into how this medium works. It's very difficult to ask someone a question about whether a sign has an impact," Mr Pynta said.

"We have been working globally for many years across the various media channels investigating the role of longterm memory encoding and emotional intensity in driving advertising effectiveness."

He said the study should scale up to the point where it can be universally tested and integrated into a currency for the outdoor advertising industry.

"We believe we've got an impact factor we can ... [use] to differentiate between formats, primarily digital versus static, from a brain response point of view."

Caption Text:
The Outdoor Media Association is putting resources into tracking the effectiveness of ads. PHOTO: LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI

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