It’s all in the mind—and the emotions—says new Adshel study

Out-of-home advertising often relies on purty pictures and/or catchy phrases to capture the attention of passersby as they go about their business. But Adshel and University of Melbourne neuroscientist Dr Phil Harris have compiled a report that demonstrates how merely noticing something is not enough for consumers to recall a campaign. The ‘NeuroSwitch’ report looked at how emotions impact recall in outdoor advertising and how new engagement  measures (Adshel’s new engagement toys were shown to media agencies earlier this year during the Adshel Rally) can add to effectiveness.

And here’s the brain man’s secret to outdoor success:

BREAK EXPECTATIONS – When advertising is improbable, unexpected and out of context, it snaps consumers out of their mental ‘autopilot’ state and triggers the brand message to be actively processed.

ENGAGE – Once attention has been captured, engagement is crucial to ensure a shift of focus. Engage via emotional arousal, experiential learning and sensory branding (hey, whaddya know, Adshel is “particularly powerful in delivering all three”).

STIR EMOTIONS – Advertising that triggers emotional arousal is proven to be the most powerful way to engagement as it directly influences decision making and ad linked memory.


In recognition of the importance of emotional engagement, Adshel is expanding its Campaign Monitor, which captures recall and advertising diagnostics, to include a component that measures the emotional response that respondents feel when viewing an ad campaign.

The report was launched in Auckland by Dr Harris at a breakfast briefing held at Sails Restaurant last Tuesday 19 July that was attended by over 100 industry representatives.


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