SOURCE: Innerscope Research, Inc.

Innerscope Research, Inc.

February 03, 2014 13:04 ET

Super Bowl Research Combines Biometrics and Facial Coding Live to Understand Complex Web of Emotions in Advertising

Once Dominated by Simple Themes, Half-Naked Women and Cheap Laughs, the Super Bowl Has Turned Into a Platform for More Complex Emotions; Innerscope Study, in Partnership With Emotient, Finds Ads That Succeed Seek to Make More Personal Connection

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 3, 2014) - Innerscope Research, Inc., the leader in integrated consumer neuroscience, today announced the results of its seventh annual study of Super Bowl advertising. The study, which took place in part at sites in Boston and New York, reinforced the need for technologies to understand the complex web of emotions in advertising to find ways to break through.

Innerscope found that a game once dominated with ads focused on simple themes, such as cheap humor and sex appeal, has turned into a platform for developing more complex stories and emotions. Brands that took audiences on an emotional journey -- such as Cheerios, Chevrolet, Budweiser and Hyundai -- delivered some of the highest moments of emotional engagement.

"There were some tried and true creative elements that engaged such as using humor and celebrities to generate an emotional response," said Dr. Carl Marci, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Innerscope Research. "However, there were some novelties and new emotional themes that emerged as viewers engaged with brands that focused on making a personal connection."

Innerscope biometrically monitored 80 participants using state of the art technology to capture fluctuations in heart rate, skin conductance, and breathing patterns across two locations: the company's Media Lab and facilities in Boston and the Time Warner Medialab in New York. In addition, participants were video recorded with Emotient, the leading authority in facial expression recognition and analysis.

Among Innerscope's top performing ads was the Wonderful Pistachios' spot with Stephen Colbert as himself in a "pitch-and-catch" ad that drew smiles from the beginning for the brand. But spots with celebrities in general only comprised two of its top 10 ads.

Meanwhile, spots from Cheerios and Hyundai were among those that took audiences on an emotional journey with stories that engaged through family connections. The General Mills Cheerios spot "Gracie," for example, generated a mixture of emotions. For example, when the father tells his young daughter that they are going to have another baby, participants displayed empathy and sadness. However, there was a quick surge to joy when the young daughter brightly asks for a puppy and engagement ends high on the branding moment.

Two other top performers featured more negative emotions as in Chevy's "Life" tribute to a husband and wife struggling with cancer and the dystopian Squarespace that resolves a lonely man's struggle with a call for a better web experience.

The results also suggest that many of the top ads were impacted by the lackluster game. The biometric results showed that many of the top ads were in the first half of the game and facial coding clearly showed high levels of frustration and contempt among Broncos' fans as the game progressed.

As part of the Innerscope Super Bowl study, participants were also video recorded in partnership with Emotient, the leading authority in facial expression recognition and analysis. Participants' emotional responses from their facial expressions were coded in response to all the advertisements and key moments in the game using Emotient's automatic emotion recognition software. The software detects and tracks overall positive, negative and neutral sentiments, as well as multiple expressions of primary emotion including joy, surprise, sadness, anger, fear and disgust and more complex expressions important for advertisers including moments of frustration and confusion. 

Supporting imagery of the facial coding analyses for several ads is available at

About Innerscope
Founded in 2006, Innerscope Research, Inc. is the leading integrated consumer neuroscience company dedicated to improving the way marketers understand consumer decision making. By measuring emotional engagement, Innerscope helps Fortune 500 clients optimize their brands, products and communications for superior in-market performance. With its breakthrough and validated methodology, including the latest advances in biometrics, neurometrics, psychometrics and self-reporting, Innerscope measures and analyzes moment-by-moment non-conscious responses, the primary drivers of behavior and choice. Founded by Harvard and MIT scientists, Innerscope has been recognized with ARF Innovation and Rising Star Awards, ESOMAR Best Presentation Award, and as a 2013 EXPLOR award finalist at IIR's TMRE. For more information, visit

About Emotient - Emotion Recognition Technology (
Emotient is the leading authority in facial expression analysis. Our flagship product is the FACET SDK, a proven software solution that translates facial expressions into actionable information, thereby enabling a broad array of companies to develop emotion aware technologies and to create new levels of customer engagement, research, and analysis. Founded by the foremost experts in applying machine learning, computer vision and cognitive science to facial behavioral analysis, our proprietary technology sets the industry standard for accuracy and real-time delivery of facial expression data and analysis. For more information on Emotient, please visit

Contact Information