Neuroscience Proves Advertising’s Effectiveness

Conrad Li and Lauren Howard

“Great creative is about the gut feel and neuroscience proves it to be real.”

As advertisers we assume that great creative pieces will automatically result in high-recall and brand recognition. Human brains are decidedly lazy and have to be working all the time to gather and understand information, which means that advertisers need to work hard to make both the advertising message interesting and memorable.

In order for brands to be successful with their advertisements, they need to be understanding of the different ways to connect with consumers. They need to reduce the cognitive load that consumers are experiencing through their advertisements so that viewers don’t feel overwhelmed, but still understand the idea and message of the ad. Brands need to focus on three kinds of thinking to be successful and reduce the cognitive load: Brand Kind, Behavior Kind, and most importantly Brain Kind.

Brand Kind is the reality or relationship consumers have with brands; they are looking for “friends with benefits” relationship where they get what they want from the brand without too much effort. Behavior kind deals with the ability and opportunity for ads to bring a change in behavior such as making a purchase. Brain Kind is the most important one for brands to focus on and it deals with the visual shortcuts that allow brands to connect consumers using as many senses as possible. When ads only use one sense to reach consumers, there is not as much engagement, recognition, resonance, or relevance.

The speakers throughout this session showed that they used neuroscience to measure the key metrics stated above. Some of the world’s most memorable and well performing ads rated highly in engagement, but sometimes had the lowest brand recall. By using neuroscience, the presenters were trying to find a sweet spot between creativity and memory. Since memory is a finite resource, creatives need to find the best way to garner as much of it as possible. They believe that better experiences and engagement of senses can help with brand recall, but too much will lead to cognitive overload.

Brands that use creative ways to create moving ads (such as video) and experiential setups have the highest recognition, resonance, and relevance. Ads such as Sony’s Bravio Balls and Apple’s 1984 have high recall and recognition because of the ways they engage the brain. In the end, ads that have great creative elements that involve using different senses and direct brand messaging are the ones that stay with us the longest.

SXSW 4 the Win Win

Alex Lily and Rosendo Martinez

The power of social good and corporate consciousness is a rising trend at South by, so much so that it has merited its own track “Social & Global Impact”. Regardless, it has been evident in almost every panel. People want to get behind brands that positively impact the community and the world, and it is important, now more than ever, that brands become beacons of positive change.

Throughout the conference, videos of Elon Musk saying, “you should not just focus on fixing something, work on something that inspires.” This has become a clear motto for SXSW, as people focus on not only acquiring new customers and growth but also making an impactful social and environmental change to the world in which they work; thus, a win win for everyone.

In Rohit Bhargava’s discussion of his book 7 Non-Obvious Trends Changing the Future in 2019, he explored the trend “enterprise empathy”, which positions businesses to showcase their involvement in the community and connect with customers on an emotional level. One example he gave, is that of the supermarket industry in the UK in which grocers like Tesco offer slower lanes and quiet hours so that customers with specific mental and health needs can shop in comfort and at leisure. Thus, they were able to tap into an underserved market and change the daily lives of their communities by making grocery shopping more accessible for all. By tackling the problem emphatically, companies are able to better strengthen their mission, engage with customers, and find new avenues for growth.
In a fireside chat with Christopher Gavigan, the co-founder and chief purpose officer at The Honest Co., and Nina Montgomery, the author of Perspectives on Impact and Perspectives on Purpose, aptly titled, “Moving Beyond the Buzz of Purpose & Impact”, both discussed the struggle of businesses and social enterprises to tackle and hold on to purpose in a meaningful way. Both said that it was evident that social impact as the purpose of a company is great driver of growth and brand engagement but it is critical that companies ingrain this purpose in to the entire culture and strategy of the business. You have to “show up in a meaningful way” in order to create a “global and iconic brand”.


During the Bumble brand activation called the HIVE SXSW in which they took over Jo’s Coffee, each corporate employee passionately referred to the social mission of empowering women. Clearly, this purpose is deeply ingrained to the cultural foundation. It is reaffirmed in each and every way the brand grows, even so that expansion into India challenged the company to culturally adapt by ensuring women’s safety.

When companies have a mission and become champions of social improvements, they strengthen from the inside out. SXSW once again empowers executives, employees, and innovators to gear their companies to become leaders of positive social and global impact, a win win for everyone.

SMU@SXSW Interactive 2019 – The Bumble Hive

Madison Cansler and Michael Bailey

Starting the weekend off with a bang, SMU Temerlin Advertising students are in Austin for SXSW Interactive!

Day 1 began at the Austin convention center to grab badges and then we let the fun begin!  Students scattered around event in search of seminars that ignite their interests.

Some of the first events attended included Designing a Better Media Ecosystem Without Ads, Spectrum at Thomas, The Spurs Interactive, The Future of Enterprise Marketing, and the Bumble Hive: An Experiential Meetup.

The highlight of the morning was consulting with former SMU student, Chelsea Maclin, VP of Marketing for Bumble. Bumble is rapidly evolving the app to ensure relevance to its growing user base. Maclin also relayed her experience  with Bumble operating in a small apartment, and contrasted that with the 100 plus employees spreading the app to India and Mexico.

Chelsea Maclin, VP Marketing at Bumble

Bumble’s success has come from evaluating all marketing efforts against being: 1) glocal, 2) integrated, 3) sustainable, 4) measurable, and 5) impactful.

Ending the session with a group pic with Maclin, the SMU Temerlin Advertising students are excited to make our school proud and see what else the weekend has in store!

TAI Hosts Visiting Scholar Dr. Cong Li for Lecture on Measuring Ad Attitude

Friday February 22nd, Temerlin Advertising Institute hosted a lecture by Visiting Scholar Dr. Cong Li, Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at the University of Miami. Dr. Li discussed his research, “Should Attitude be Measured with “Random” Scale Points?”, with many SMU faculty, students, and professionals attending the event. Through his research, Dr. Li examined how using different scale points to measure ad attitude influences statistical results.

While attitude is an important construct frequently measured in advertising research, there is no consensus on the scale points it should be quantitively assessed.  In practice, researchers have measured attitude using different scale points (i.e., 1-5, 1-7, 1-9, 0-10, and 0-100). Dr. Li’s research questions the influence of such inconsistency on empirical findings.

In his lecture, Dr. Li discussed a series of studies that examine the methodological issues associated with attitude measures. Using varying types of data from content analysis, simulation, a longitudinal study, and an experiment, Dr. Li’s research suggests that using arbitrary scale points to measure attitude may bias statistical results. The influence of scale points is also subject to cultural difference. As low replicability has long been an issue in empirical research, Dr. Li’s work is important in pointing out a methodological concern associated with self-report measures.

Dr. Li’s other research interests include computer-mediated communication, social media, and cultural psychology. His work has appeared in such journals as Journal of AdvertisingHuman Communication ResearchMedia Psychology, and Communication Research. He has also authored two books focusing on advertising strategy and social media.

Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to host Dr. Li for a lecture on his research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting guest speakers periodically throughout the year.

TAI Students Featured in CMYK Magazine

After a seven-year hiatus, CMYK Magazine is back in publication and better than ever with its first fully digital issue featuring nine Temerlin Advertising students as award winners. This means that more than half of the winners in the Advertising category are TAI students. Congratulations!

SILVER Medal* // Art Direction & Copy
COSTCO / “Prepared for anything.”
Gaelle Gachelin, AD/CW
Anna Rose Corell, AD/CW

HomeAdvisor / “Bridging the gap between you and home repair.”
Anna Rose Corell, AD/CW

Anger Room / “Lose your Cool. Keep your security deposit.”
Megan Cruikshank, AD
Graceley Todd, CW

Instacart / “Groceries delivered fast.”
Isaac Cordova, AD/CW

Sun Bum Sunscreen / “Get out there.”
Ellie Pace, AD/CW
Charlie O’Brien, AD/CW

BIC / “Light your way.”
Abby Coon, AD/CW
Madi Castellano, AD/CW

TAI Alumnus Stirling Barrett named to 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30

TAI Alumnus Stirling Barrett was recently named to Forbes 2019 30 Under 30 list for Art & Style as “one of the brashest entrepreneurs across the United States and Canada.” His creative entrepreneurialism manifested at an early age when he marketed his own photographic collages as a teenager in New Orleans. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the Temerlin Advertising Institute in 2011, he returned to his home city and continued creating artwork, flirting with the possibility of opening his own gallery. Instead, he self-financed the 2013 launch of KREWE, a luxury eyewear company that sells sunglasses, prescription glasses, and sports eyewear. The company has opened two stores in New Orleans, one small boutique in Soho, and two traveling tiny house stores. Barrett also recently founded Krewe Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides New Orleans adolescents access to eye care and free prescription eyewear. The company’s celebrity following includes Gigi Hadid, Serena Williams, Beyoncé, and Kendall Jenner. Congratulations, Sterling!

Let’s Save the World from Ineffective Marketing

Knowledge – Intelligence – Benchmarks – Insights – Data

The World Advertising Research Center (WARC) is now available for SMU students, faculty and staff to uncover the latest evidence, expertise and guidance on any marketing issue. Through the library website or from the Advertising Research Guide, you can access the information that thousands of marketers use to make their marketing more effective.

WARC is an information resource that provides knowledge, know-how, and unbiased advice on almost any advertising issue.

  • Best practice and evidence on key issues from expert practitioners.
  • Distilled wisdom from effective brands to support your judgments.
  • Used by major advertising agencies and big advertisers in more than 100 countries.

Overcome your challenges with expert guidance:

  • Take advantage of best practice and ‘how to’ guides to key marketing problems, written by specialists from around the world.
  • Use WARC’s Topic pages to see the latest thinking across 100+ advertising and marketing subjects and issues.
  • Get quick guides to complex challenges through WARC’s exclusive ‘What we know about’ series.

Make your case with the right evidence:

  • Use WARC’s in-depth research papers, including peer-reviewed articles, to find the evidence you need to make the right decision.
  • Get an industry-wide view – WARC blends the best information from research organizations, trade bodies and awards organizers with its own exclusive content.
  • Be the first to see new learning on key advertising issues using our Topic Updates email alerts service.

Investigate Popular Topics by keywords such as: Brand Analysis, Luxury Brands, Youth, Brand Launches, Behavioral Insight, Social Media, Brand Positioning, Challenger Brands, Shopper Insight, Digital Media, and others.

WARC is like a living textbook. It provides…

Quick information to get up to speed on an advertising topic:

It provides succinct articles on many topics in advertising, giving you background information, summarizing what is currently known, or giving you step-by-step how to’s.  Start with WARC instead of Googling when you need to know something about advertising! In WARC, browse the “Topics” or conduct a keyword search.  Look for WARC Best Practice articles at the top of your search results.

 Research assistance for a client project:

Use the Pitch Support tool to quickly get to secondary research for your ad campaign.  This is a great place to start to get articles about your client, the product, the target audience, marketing strategy, and the media mix.

In-depth information on an advertising topic:

WARC also gives you access to research articles and extensive reports. Searching WARC can complement the research you do with our other article databases.  Look for research articles in your search results, or from the WARC homepage, choose Latest and the browse WARC Reports.

Examples of how others solved advertising problems:

Use the Case Finder to explore the thousands of case studies available in WARC. You can filter by category, audience, creative approach, media channel, campaign objectives, and more.  For example, if you were creating a campaign for a non-profit and you want to see how others have generated word of mouth, you can filter for those criteria.

 Examples of award-winning creative work:

The Gunn Report gives you access to a library of award-winning awards as well as WARC’s top 100 effective campaigns.

Need help? Want to know more about research or databases for advertising? Contact Megan.

Super Bowl 2019: Our 5 Favorite Ads

The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest event of the year. As Sunday’s game became the lowest-scoring championship game in football history, the intermittent ads demonstrated an even more memorable competition. Check out our five favorite commercials below!

1. Bumble: “Serena Williams”

We are proud of Temerlin Alumna Chelsea Cain Maclin and her work as Director of Marketing at Bumble. This commercial empowers women through the words of the world’s strongest female athlete: Serena Williams.

Created By: FlyteVu & VMLY&R

 

2. Burger King: “#EatLikeAndy”

Clipped from Jørgen Leth’s 1982 art film 66 Scenes from America, Burger King’s #EatLikeAndy commercial is one minute of voyeuristic footage featuring Andy Warhol eating a Whopper. It was only a matter of time before this video became commercially repurposed.

Created By: David Miami

 

3. Doritos: “Chance the Rapper x Backstreet Boys”

When you combine Chance the Rapper and Backstreet Boys, you get a really expensive Super Bowl ad. More importantly, you get the catchiest jingle of the year.

Created By: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

 

4. Pepsi: “More than OK”

Is a Pepsi OK? Ohh-kay? Okurr? Yes.

Created By: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

 

5. Google: “100 Billion Words”

The first two Super Bowl commercials advertised Google Translate as a great cultural unifier. This soft and emotional portrayal of the company promotes the human benefits of its services.

Created By: Google Creative Labs

Dear Creative Santa

Temerlin faculty members were recently asked what they want from Creative Santa for the holidays. Their hilarious, distinctive, and thoughtful responses are below.

This year I would love a TAI faculty uniform so we all can present a united front to students and the community at large. Magnetic name tags aren’t getting it done! I was thinking about a nice SMU plaid with headgear in the form of a beanie. Please make mine with short sleeves so I can layer if necessary. Thank you!

Temerlin Love,
Dr. Alice Kendrick

 

 

Will you please get me this jacket to go with my cowboy shirts so Dr. Steve will quit telling me I’m not dressed up enough? Also, a pony.

Love,
Willie Baronet

 

 

 

On the high end I’d ask Creative Santa for an Apple iPad Pro – really no further explanation needed here. On the lower end, I’d love a copy of House Industries: The Process Is The Inspiration. I’m a big fan of House Industries, the creative process, and beautifully printed books so this is a perfect trifecta.

Sincerely,
Cheryl Mendenhall

 

 

I would like tickets to Cannes Lions WITH an invitation to the MediaLink party, CLX, AND a sit-down with Michael Kassan to discuss the future of the advertising industry.

Yours,
Dr. Steve Edwards

 

 

 

I would love to have a self-driving car. It frees my brain, eyes, and hands during my commute. It is also smart enough to be able to find its own parking spot on campus. I am happy just thinking about it. It is difficult to find the right Christmas stocking for it. But I am on it if you accept the challenge.

Best,
Dr. Yan Huang

 

 

As an eventful 2018 comes to an end and a new exciting year is about to begin, I would ask Santa to bring me a bottle of Simple Vodka. The adult beverage isn’t only for when I self-reflect as there is more to it than meets the eye. Why Simple Vodka? Well, there are two reasons. First, every bottle, Simple Vodka provides 20 meals to those in need in the US (e.g. 1 meal per drink). Since March 2017, the company has provided more than 400,000 meals through their local and national hunger relief beneficiaries and it hopes to eclipse 1 million meals by the end of 2018. Now, this is not an excuse to drink but to drink and usher in the new year responsibly. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love,
Dr. Sid Muralidharan

 

I would like to return to Kloster Wiblingen (1701) in Germany to conduct research on their collection of Renaissance Viennese pigments. This largely unknown collection of pigments, from the era of Michelangelo and da Vinci, would provide critical information to museum conservators when matching amalgamations to repair fine art and provide industry-based companies, like Pantone, with new formulations.

Sincerely,
Sandi Edgar

 

My mom doesn’t like buying me books for Christmas because she thinks it’s lame – but maybe Creative Santa feels differently? Regardless, I’m always on the lookout for new material for the graduate course I teach every Spring: Creativity, Art & Problem-Solving. For this reason, I would like Arthur C. Dante’s What Art IsThe cover of this title features the work of Andy Warhol who (in)famously blurred the lines between advertising and art.

Best,
Mark Allen

 

I would like a retreat to an island resort in Thailand with white sand, beaches, excellent service, activities, and food. At this location, I would focus my days on research and writing. Perhaps I would complete one of the many books I have wanted to write such as the impact of culture and how we see the world. I would also use the time and inspiring location to finish my online certificate related to ethics in advertising for industry professionals.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carrie La Ferle

Meet Megan Heuer: The Advertising Librarian!

For those of you who have not met me before, I am the librarian for Temerlin.  I always enjoy working with the advertising students on the kinds of critical thinking needed for secondary research.  The students at Temerlin never cease to impress me with the creativity and enthusiasm they bring to the work!  We have so many great services at the SMU Libraries, so here’s a rundown of things you should take advantage of.

  • Advertising Research Guides – Find these attached to advertising courses in Canvas by clicking “Library Help.” I create these online guides to make advertising research easier for you.
  • One-on-One Research Help – Sometimes you just need to talk through your project with a person. I meet with individuals and small groups, either in person or online. I can’t tell you how many times I have had students say that they don’t know why they ever waited so long to take advantage of this service!
  • Chat Help – If you need help immediately, you can chat with one of the library’s research assistants. You can find this anywhere on the library website by clicking the red “Ask Us” flag on the upper right side.
  • Workshops – Adulting 101, Finding Balanced News, Advanced Internet Research, Making Citation Easier, How to Read Scholarly Article – these are some of the topics that are offered through our workshop program. Is there a topic you would like to suggest?  Would you like to schedule a custom session for a group of students?  Let me know!

Contact:
Megan Heuer
mheuer@smu.edu
(214) 768-1856
Make an appointment