Evaluation of TV commercials using neurophysiological responses

J Physiol Anthropol. 2015 Apr 24;34(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s40101-015-0056-4.


Background: In recent years, neuroscientific knowledge has been applied to marketing as a novel and efficient means to comprehend the cognitive and behavioral aspects of consumers. A number of studies have attempted to evaluate media contents, especially TV commercials using various neuroimaging techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG). Yet neurophysiological examination of detailed cognitive and affective responses in viewers is still required to provide practical information to marketers. Here, this study develops a method to analyze temporal patterns of EEG data and extract affective and cognitive indices such as happiness, surprise, and attention for TV commercial evaluation.

Methods: Twenty participants participated in the study. We developed the neurophysiological indices for TV commercial evaluation using classification model. Specifically, these model-based indices were customized using individual EEG features. We used a video game for developing the index of attention and four video clips for developing indices of happiness and surprise. Statistical processes including one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) and the cross validation scheme were used to select EEG features for each index. The EEG features were composed of the combinations of spectral power at selected channels from the cross validation for each individual. The Fisher's linear discriminant classifier (FLDA) was used to estimate each neurophysiological index during viewing four different TV commercials. Post hoc behavioral responses of preference, short-term memory, and recall were measured.

Results: Behavioral results showed significant differences for all preference, short-term memory rates, and recall rates between commercials, leading to a 'high-ranked' commercial group and a 'low-ranked' group (P < 0.05). Neural estimation of happiness results revealed a significant difference between the high-ranked and the low-ranked commercials in happiness index (P < 0.01). The order of rankings based on happiness and attention matched well with the order of behavioral response rankings. In the elapsed-time analysis of the highest-ranked commercial, we could point to visual and auditory semantic structures of the commercial that induced increases in the happiness index.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that the neurophysiological indices developed in this study may provide a useful tool for evaluating TV commercials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advertising*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Television*
  • Young Adult