NEW YORK: Neuroscience provides tangible insights into how ads work, and its impact can be enhanced if the findings generated are considered alongside those drawn from old and new techniques, a leading expert has said.

Horst Stipp, evp, research and innovation, Global and Ad Effectiveness at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), discussed this issue at the industry body's 2014 Re:Think conference.

He drew on material from two waves of neuroscience research that the organisation has conducted as it seeks to tap into the latest advances being made in this field. (For more, including how neuroscience improved a TV spot for The Shelter Pet Project, read Warc's exclusive report: ARF neuro study proves power of emotional appeal in advertising.)

The most recent wave of the ARF's neuroscience research – as with a growing body of previous studies – has revealed intriguing information about how advertising works, particularly at the emotional level.

"Emotions drive attention/involvement, which ties into memory, which leads to wanting, liking, and, ultimately, purchase intent," Stipp said.

While biometric and more brain-focused measurement techniques appear to be closely related, they actually measure reactions to different kinds of marketing stimuli.

As such, Stipp recommended utilising more than one biometric method, possibly in combination with more traditional forms of measurement – and for one simple reason: "More measures mean more insights."

These techniques are of the greatest usefulness when more established parts of the research playbook have apparent blind spots.

Stipp gave the example of when "surveys, focus groups or whatever other tools you are using are suspect – when you suspect there might be unspoken desirability or that people don't want to admit to something."

He continued: "The data require interpretation and should be reviewed alongside traditional testing data."

And the earlier the neuroscience tools are incorporated into a project, the more helpful they become, Stipp informed the ARF Re:Think audience.

This is because they "identify elements that are strong and need improvement, which, when addressed, will enhance the ad performance and success on brand key measures."

Data sourced from Warc