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Spring Research launches new method for measuring consumer emotion

LONDON - Market research consultancy Spring Research has launched a new method of measuring the emotional impact of advertising campaigns.

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Spring Research claims that "Emotimeter" is able to measure "right brain thinking" –- the way the brain processes visual and audiological stimuli before it is interpreted by the logical left side of the brain.

The technique uses "emoticons" (emotional graphics) to measure the right brain thinking, and aims to allow agencies to examine emotional drivers as well as the consumer's rational response to an advertising campaign.

The technique involves asking respondents to demonstrate the level of emotion they feel in response to an ad by adjusting an online dial which speeds up or slows down a heartbeat until they feel the pace represents how they feel.

The results are shown in an ECG style graph.

Respondents then choose from several emoticons to express their emotions, with three levels of intensity available for each emotion.

"Left-brain" rational reactions are also gathered by asking consumers to explain their responses. The consumers are then finally asked to rank the concepts in order to assess the memorability of each.

The most creative respondents are then taken on to a second stage, where the campaign is discussed in more detail.

Spring claims that the process is powerful but inexpensive.

Stephen Phillips, founder of Spring Research, said the Emotimeter is designed to give agencies intuitive insight into the magic of their work.

He said: "Research has a vital role to play in assessing creative executions but by asking consumers to put emotions into words, you run right brain thinking through a left brain filter, creating an over-rationalisation of a gut feeling."

Matthew Palmer, group head of planning at Leagas Delaney London, said that advertising agencies have for a long time been arguing that the emotional response to an ad is the first and most important one.

Palmer said: "Despite the increasing weight of neuroscientific evidence to support our view, advertising testing has continued to focus on the more rational measures -- what impact the audience think the advertising has had on them, rather than how they feel about it."

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