Study Used Neuroscience to Measure Consumer’s Unconscious Response to Brands

IPG Media Lab
Oct 24, 2018 · 4 min read

Sponsored Lenses (AR) are more effective than traditional pre-roll ads, according to “The Power of Camera Advertising,” a study by Snapchat in partnership with MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands, and IPG Media Lab, the media futures and advisory arm of IPG Mediabrands.

The study compared the emotional and cognitive responses participants had to Snapchat Sponsored Lenses and to :15 pre-roll video ads using mobile eye-tracking, Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), heart rate (PPG) and brain pulses from Electroencephalography (EEG). They found that Sponsored Lenses generated more engagement (heart rate and excitement levels were both significantly higher in response to Sponsored Lenses) and increased retention (unaided brand recall resulting from Sponsored Lenses was nearly 4X higher than from skippable pre-roll ads).

“Augmented reality allows marketers to bridge the physical divide between them and their customers, which is why it drives higher engagement and spurs more emotion than pre-roll ads,” said Carolina Arguelles, AR Product Strategy Lead at Snapchat.

Interestingly, even those who received Sponsored Lenses from friends are 40% more focused on the brand or product than they are with skippable pre-roll ads and exhibit higher retention as well. Sponsored Lenses engender more positive emotional experiences amongst this group as well.

Brands have quickly found innovative ways of employing the technology in innovative ways. Mike Frank, SVP, Creative Director at Deutsch, said, Volkswagen’s 2018 World Cup campaign was all about giving American soccer fans a new country bandwagon to jump on since the US team didn’t qualify for the tournament. In addition to the TV spots, we used Snapchat to create country-specific lenses that went live during the most watched games of the tournament. And with the evolving platform, we were able to create an immersive experience for our fans by leveraging their audio triggers and multi-lens functionality, which allowed us to teach fans how to cheer in the language of their adopted team.”

“Measuring Sponsored Lenses was a challenge because they are an ad format unlike any other — they leverage the consumers’ camera and allow for particularly high levels of interaction,” says Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence, Solutions & Strategy, MAGNA Global. “We expected that consumers would enjoy Sponsored Lenses more than traditional ads, but to get a deeper understanding than ever before of consumers’ unconscious responses, we activated the latest measurement technology to compare their effectiveness.”

“The Power of Camera Advertising,” is the latest in MAGNA and IPG Media Labs’ media trial series. Recently, the companies explored the tangible impact of brand (un)safety in “The Brand Safety Effect”; harnessing the power of content creators with Twitter; the power of content targeting with Zefr; best practices for mobile ads in its “Battle of the Mobile Ad Formats” study; 360 video ads in its “The 360 Effect” report; the use of haptic technology in mobile video ads in its “Ads You Can Feel: The New Mobile Ad Experience” study and the impact of viewability on performance based campaigns in its “Pulling Back the Curtain: Viewability + Direct Response” report.

The full study can be found here.


MAGNA is the centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that develops intelligence, investment and innovation strategies for agency teams and clients. We utilize our insights, forecasts and strategic relationships to provide clients with a competitive marketplace advantage.

MAGNA harnesses the aggregate power of all IPG media investments to create leverage in the market, negotiate preferred pricing and secure premium inventory to drive maximum value for our clients. The MAGNA Investment and Innovation teams architect go-to-market investment strategies across all channels including linear television, print, digital and programmatic on behalf of IPG clients. The team focuses on the use of emerging media opportunities, as well as data and technology-enabled solutions to drive optimal client performance and business results.

MAGNA Intelligence has set the industry standard for more than 60 years by predicting the future of media value. The MAGNA Intelligence team produces more than 40 annual reports on audience trends, media spend and market demand as well as ad effectiveness.

About IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences. Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change. Its expertise, resources and consulting services also help to inform the learnings, strategies and business outcomes of all Interpublic agencies. For more information, please visit or follow @ipglab.

Media Contact:

Scott Berwitz

IPG Mediabrands

SVP, Global Corporate Communications


IPG Media Lab

The media futures agency of IPG Mediabrands

IPG Media Lab

Written by

Keeping brands ahead of the digital curve. An @IPGMediabrands company.

IPG Media Lab

The media futures agency of IPG Mediabrands

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