Coke's Bayne agreed. "It's another tool in the arsenal that helps us learn a little bit more. But it's not a replacement for the traditional approach," she said, noting that the beverage maker continues to do most of its ad testing with research firm Millward Brown, a unit of WPP. That said, Coke is exploring ways to work more with EmSense in the future. A Millward rep said the firm is examining ways to incorporate biometrics techniques into its testing (work being coordinated in its U.K. office). Company officials declined to elaborate further.
Los Angeles-based OTX Research, partly owed by Zelnick Media, and Boston-based Innerscope, which has biometric testing technology, teamed together a year ago to develop and offer biometric research services to marketers and media companies.
David Brandt, managing director, marketing insights at OTX, said in addition to ads, they monitor film and TV programs for TV and movie companies. Innerscope has embedded its technology into a vest instead of a headband, and measures heart rates, breathing and other biometrics, but not brain waves, Brandt said. "Our point of view is the EEG doesn't add a lot more," in terms of data about how consumers respond," he noted.
Just two weeks ago, Neuro- Focus, which also analyzes films and TV shows, and Adweek parent The Nielsen Co. announced a joint effort to work together to develop new forms of measurement and metrics based on neuroscience. Its device is headgear resembling a baseball cap.
NeuroFocus CEO A.K Pradeep said his company has tested "a few hundred ads" for clients in the packaged-goods, financial, food, beverage and auto categories.
Neither Brandt nor Pradeep would discuss specific work or identify any of their clients.
"All of this is sort of based on the presumption that emotion trumps logic" in the marketing of brands, said McKinney's Jones. "We believe emotion and creating emotional connections for brands is paramount. It's not in place of transactional connections -- you have to do both."