Falling costs and credible research results are pushing neuromarketing into the mainstream, according to an analysis of the most-read Warc papers on the topic in 2015.

A chapter in Warc's Toolkit 2015 report addressed the momentum building behind neuroscience-based research, and was the top neuro paper on Warc for the year. Research in 2015: Neuro goes mainstream highlighted the growing body of best practice around ad testing, which remains the leading application for neuromarketing techniques.

Brands should take a test-and-learn approach to neuro techniques, identifying where their current ad research is falling short, the article advised.

In second place was an article penned by Vicky Bullen of brand design agency Coley Porter Bell. In Perfect design through neuroscience, she outlined some of the ways in which brands can use the visual nature of System 1 thinking to harness the power of design. An example of this is how Virgin Atlantic has employed the visual language of film genres to promote its destinations in outdoor advertising.

An article by Thom Noble of Neurostrata, which explored advances in neuroscience marketing research – and featured eight big brand case studies – was the third most-read neuro paper. The application of neuroscience in marketing noted that "the single most transformative trend for neuromarketing is the accelerating shift of studies away from the science lab and into the home".

Aside from ad testing, neuro techniques have also raised questions about traditional communications measurement systems. That was covered in the fourth most-read neuro article, Beating the brain game: Communications success in a new era of neuroscience learnings, a WPP Atticus Award-winning paper from TNS South Africa.

The fifth most-read article – How Reliable Are Neuromarketers' Measures of Advertising Effectiveness: Data from Ongoing Research Holds No Common Truth among Vendors – explored the pitfalls facing buyers picking their way through a minefield of competing proprietary neuro methodologies.

"Neuro vendors should compete like opinion-poll vendors: on the quality of their data, not the uniqueness of their measures," it concluded.

For more details about the most read papers on Warc in 2015 on other topics, visit our Most Read page.

Data sourced from Warc