ARF neuro study proves power of emotional appeal in advertising

Geoffrey Precourt

The dog was just too darned cute.

Arnie was an abandoned dog whose luck had turned – largely thanks to the efforts of The Shelter Pet Project. The Project, in turn, was the beneficiary of the Ad Council and a series of TV spots created by volunteer agency FCB Chicago. And, to complete the cycle, FCB had been able to fine-tune that work thanks, in some degree, to the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

The ARF – with a stellar list of partners that has included organizations such as A&E Networks, American Express, Campbell's Soup, the Clorox Co., Chase, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods, Dentsu, ESPN, General Motors, the Hershey Co., Intel, IP Deutschland, Innerscope, Ipsos ASI, MillerCoors, Orbitz, MTV Networks, NBCUniversal, New York University, Publicis Groupe, Starcom MediaVest, Sun Products Corp., Temple University, Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Brothers – has embraced research beyond numbers with a two-part program (to date) on how neuroscience might be able to provide brands with deep insights regarding consumer reactions to advertising messages.