NEW YORK: Television ads still play a vital role in delivering messages to consumers as they prompt "strong, immersive emotional connections", according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research.

"Leveraging Synergy and Emotion in a Multi-platform World – A Neuroscience-Informed Model of Engagement" digs deeply into the different types and degrees of brand immersion. The paper's findings indicated that brand advertising proved far more emotionally engaging when experienced on TV, either alone or in combination with online viewing.

And when using both platforms, the emotional connection was strongest if the television program and website content were related.

The authors – Audrey Steele (Fox Broadcasting) and Caleb Siefert (University Of Michigan), as well as Innerscope Research's Devra Jacobs, Randall Rule, Brian Levine and Carl D. Marci – employed a variety of tools in their research.

State-of-the-art biometrics and eye tracking were critical parts of the process, as 251 participants experienced 24 brands on television, online, or both.

The research team explained: "The medical-grade quality of the biometric sensor platform and industry-reviewed metrics (including completion of an independent Advertising Research Foundation Research Review [ARF] and participation in the ARF NeuroStandards Collaboration) allowed for high-quality, comfortable, passive, non-invasive measurement of brand and content exposure on multiple platforms with no interruption of the experience."

Their findings, they added, "indicated that immersive media environments – as often embodied by television – can create strong and lasting emotional connections that transfer to the brands showcased".

Online environments, in contrast were "less able to generate an environment conducive to brand resonance that is measurable post-exposure – even when using rich-media display advertising".

But the authors also noted that "online advertising does appear to build stronger brand connections when a brand association or need state already exists".

Data sourced from Journal of Advertising Research