Raising the Effectiveness of Public Service Announcements With Consumer Neuroscience

The bar has never been higher for brands to break through. Just ask Patty Goldman, vice president and research director at the Ad Council. She knows that consumers are becoming more distracted, their attention spans are shrinking and the choices available to them have never been so vast. All of this magnifies the challenge for brands to be noticed, with marketers and advertisers battling for every space in every corner.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for marketers to test their ads before they spent money to place them? Sure, marketers can always look to focus groups for feedback, but it’s becoming clear that asking consumers isn’t enough anymore.

That’s where Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience comes in, delivering insights that go deeper. By using technology that uncovers non-conscious, unfiltered, neurobiological-based responses and reactions to its ads, the Ad Council is able to diagnose what’s working and what’s not on a second-by-second level. Instead of throwing out a great idea, the organization can determine how to make an ad as good as it can be. When it comes to non-profit messages and public service announcements (PSAs) that often tell emotionally charged, difficult stories, consumer neuroscience can be critical in shaping messaging and creative that are as powerful as possible.

In the video above, Ms. Goldman shares her first-hand experiences with how Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience has helped in the testing of the council’s PSAs. Nielsen has been a pro bono collaborator with The Ad Council since 2013, helping to maximize the impact of PSAs ranging from shelter pet adoption to stroke awareness and caregiving for elderly parents.

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