Neuroscience can help you make better ads. That was the message from Dr. Carl Marci, EVP & chief neuroscientist at consumer insights company Nielsen, and Patty Goldman, VP strategy and evaluation at the nonprofit organization and public service campaign creators, the Ad Council.

The pair presented a series of six advertising case studies – all improved by neuroscience techniques – in a webinar hosted by Nielsen.

Nielsen uses a combination of neuroscience techniques to measure responses to advertising. The primary focus is on EEG, which is “a direct measure of brain waves, through which we can derive three key measures of engagement: attention, emotion, and memory”, Marci explained.

Facial coding captures emotions such as happy, sad and surprised, while eye-tracking pinpoints where people are looking on the screen. This is complemented by self-reported information. “Traditional measures of self-report are still very important, and act as a complement to these other measures,” Marci advised.