Sadness and disgust among emotions that drive brand value, says biometric study

The carryover effect of emotions including sadness, anticipation, disgust is shown to drive brand value.

Sadness sells, according to a new biometric study that measures the link between emotions in entertainment content and brand value.

The research, by AI-powered technology company Mirriad and applied neuroscience firm SPARK Neuro, drove significant value increases across all brands and products that were tested included potato chips, Lysol disinfectant wipes and Jeep Wrangler.

Mirriad CEO, Stephan Beringer, said: "This first-of-its-kind study is beneficial in understanding which emotions can drive brand value from viewers. Through our findings we understand exactly where to place brands in emotional context and how to take the impact of advertising in content even further. We’ve also created a comprehensive approach for content distributors and creators on how to best place brands to resonate with audiences."

The study, split between two phases, explored the impact of emotions on consumers’ interest in different kinds of products and how much they were willing to pay for them. In the first phase of the study, 900 participants were tested online assessing the impact of eight emotions in content across different brand categories. Among others, the research revealed that sadness drove the highest valuation for the food & drink category (+17 percent); anticipation for the automotive category (+seven percent); and disgust for CPG/cleaning products (+22 percent). 

In the second phase, using the emotions with the highest lift from the first phase, Mirriad’s technology was used to insert products and signage ads into content sparking the identified emotions, and 50 participants then underwent biometric testing in SPARK Neuro’s neuroanalytics lab.

The research found that the combination of targeted emotional scenes paired with product and signage ad insertions in the content elicited significant price valuation lifts for each of the brand categories tested due to the ‘emotional carryover’ effect. 

Jeep Wrangler’s signage ad was inserted into a highly suspenseful scene and showed a six percent lift in product valuation after viewing; Lysol disinfectant wipes were inserted into a disgusting scene that resulted in a 22 percent price valuation lift; and a bag of potato chips was inserted into a very sad scene involving a mother and child, resulting in a 27 percent price valuation lift.

SPARK Neuro CEO & Founder, Spencer Gerrol, said: "Connecting emotional scenes with brands in content elicits strong changes in value perception. It’s not as simple as owning a single emotion, but rather being present in a range of emotions to leverage the ‘emotional carryover’ effect."

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