Classic billboards found to have same impact as a 15 second TV ad in new OMA neuroscience study

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) today released its findings of a two-year neuroscience study which tracked the memory and emotional response of 2,050 Australians to over 800 classic and digital billboards.

The study, conducted in partnership between the OMA and Neuro-Insight, has led to the creation of a Neuro Impact Factor which advertising agencies will be able use as a new “currency” to promote the benefits of outdoor advertising in both classic and digital formats to clients.

The study used eye-tracking and brain-imaging technology to analyse the brain’s neural response when looking at advertising in OOH signs. By measuring the peak moments of long-term memory encoding and emotional intensity in the brain, Neuro-Insight was able to evaluate the impact of OOH signs on the audience.

Both memory and emotion are key neuroscience metrics associated with mental availability which is linked to effective advertising campaigns.

OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich unveiled the study today, alongside Neuro-Insight CEO Peter Pynta.

“This research is a game-changer for Out of Home. Not only have we provided undeniable, scientific proof of the subconscious impact of advertising, but we have also shown that just one glance at one of our signs is sufficient for brand messages to elicit an emotional response that encodes into long term memory,” Moldrich said.

“What’s more, it introduces a qualitative measure that will be added in 2022 to our audience measurement system, MOVE, giving agencies and clients yet another tool to help them plan and buy their Out of Home campaigns.”

out of home
During the presentation, Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the OMA, said the Neuro Impact Factor will become a new “currency” for advertising agencies.

Classic v Digital

Whilst the results for digital billboards did show an increased impact (63%), classic continues to hold up as being able to deliver powerful impacts with just a one or two second glance by passersby.

Moldrich said the neuroscience findings show that advertising seen on classic signs is just as impactful as a 30 second radio commercial or 15 second television advertising spot. Advertising seen on digital signs averages even higher by delivering 63 per cent more impact than classic signs.

Crucially, the results provide proof that advertising seen on OOH signs have the power to deliver impact in just a one or two second glance.  

out of home

Pynta said, “What we have accomplished in doing this research is go beyond the ‘how many’ part of the equation that comprises most mature media measurement. With the Neuro Impact Factor, we have brought in a quality dimension in a scalable way.

“We finally have three parts of the triangle of reach, frequency and now impact—and I hope the market shares our vision.”

He added that this is another step toward attribution and understanding the value of Out of Home.

Moldrich said the results will inform the development of a new currency for advertisers and agencies to use.

“These results will inform the development of a new currency that advertisers and agencies can use alongside reach and frequency reports: called the Neuro Impact Factor,” Moldrich said.

“The Factor will be exclusive to MOVE, and the first qualitative metric in the world to unite validated, real-world effectiveness with the quantitative metrics available in the system.”

out of home
The slide in the OMA presentation shows Classic continues to holds its own in the ad mix.

The presentation of the results included a panel discussion with representatives from managing partner of ad agency, Avenue C, Pia Coyle.

“I think that the OMA has done a really good job of simplifying something really complex and robust, and boiling it down to one Neuro Impact Factor by format is going to be a real help in agencies adopting it quickly,” Coyle said.

“The methodology behind the study is thorough and world-class, so we’re excited to bring the Neuro Impact Factor into the vernacular when talking about Outdoor. We’ve always known there is more to Outdoor than what we’ve had in the past. Now we’ve got an extra dimension beyond reach, frequency, site-card, or location to bring that to life — it’s pretty exciting.”

The Neuro Impact Factor will be available to use in MOVE from January 31, 2022.

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