Published On: Thu, Feb 17th, 2011

Darth Vader’s Neuromarketing Blast

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With Super Bowl advertisers likely to pay $100,000 a second for coveted slots during coast-to-coast television coverage of the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers earlier this month creatives responsible for the commercials might want to consider adding some high tech marketing to the creative process. The preferable high tech is likely the use of neuromarketing techniques and insights to brighten up the consumer’s minds and see if the highly anticipated commercial hits on target.

Volkswagen’s “The Force” ad featuring a pint-sized Darth Vader was the highest-scoring ad aired during the Super Bowl as ranked by neuromarketing firm Sands Research.

Sands describes its methodology:

Participants in the annual Sands Research Super Bowl Ad Neuromarketing Study wear an EEG cap and view the commercials on the SensorMotoric Instruments (SMI) eye-tracking system. This allows Sands to record each viewer’s non-verbal brain response on a millisecond by millisecond basis and sync exactly where and at what level their attention is at that millisecond. This methodology allows a much more granular level analysis of the Super Bowl Ads compared to the simple Ad Meter type measurements used by USA Today and others.

Here’s the vid after the break. Volkwagen: “The Force”.

Ranked by Sands’ metrics for engagement the top ads were:
Volkswagen – Darth Vader / Deutsch LA (6.36)
Paramount Pictures – Captain America / In-House (5.13)
Chevrolet – Volt Discovery / Goodby Silverstein & Partners (4.96)
Volkswagen – Black Beetle / Deutsch LA (4.91)
Universal Pictures – Fast Five / In-House (4.87)
Pepsi Max – Love Hurts / Independent (4.74)

via/ Visit for more winners or losers.

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About the Author

- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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  1. [...] Volkswagen in Norway is offering what it claims is the world’s first test drive inside a print ad. The ad, placed in several Norwegian magazines, presents a long stretch of road (there are summer and winter versions) and urges readers to download an app (developed by Mobiento) that lets you “drive” a car on the road by hovering your iPhone over it. Using augmented reality you can test three different features of the vehicle—lane assist, adaptive lights and cruise control. Sure, it’s not quite as immersive as a real test drive, but it’s a nice idea executed well. All that’s missing is a mini Darth Vader to pop up and deliver the tagline. [...]

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