UM, Time Inc. Unveil Biometric Research on iPad Magazine Apps

Company: UM and Time Inc.
Published: 01 December, 2010
UM and Time Inc. today unveiled the findings of a groundbreaking proprietary research study that explored consumer interaction and response to advertising in iPad magazine apps. The results of the study were presented by Mike Haggerty, SVP, Director of Research and Marketing Accountability, UM, and Betsy Frank, Chief Research & Insights Officer, Time Inc., at Advertising Age's Media Evolved Conference in New York.

This study marked the first time that biometrics research has been conducted on the advertising within iPad magazine apps, providing scientific evidence of how users engage and respond to the ads. A key finding is that engagement on the iPad mobile digital device is complex and consists of three elements: Visual Attention, Accessibility, and Propulsion. Visual Attention describes an ad's power to grab a reader's attention and make the user linger on the ad to notice its elements. Accessibility refers to whether an ad offers easy entry points to stay on the ad or go deeper, often through an act of swiping or tapping. And Propulsion is the ability to drive through the adscape by moving from page one through to the interactive elements and features of the ads. This encourages maximum interaction with the brand.

"The three dynamics that we uncovered were quantified with the biometrics of emotion and cognition. This framework allows us to measure a successful advertising experience on the iPad," said Haggerty. "This is exciting new research that gives us a true understanding of what makes an effective tablet advertising experience. We look forward to developing this into actionable ways for our clients to advance how their brands will interact with tablet users."

"These biometric findings truly reflect the hearts and minds of consumers," added Frank. "These insights give us new ways to understand and value the advertising experience on the iPad. We learned that consumers are exploring this new platform in a highly-immersive way and that advertising is welcome and even considered integral to the experience."

UM and Time Inc. partnered with EmSense, a leading company in the field of biometrics and neuroscience marketing, to measure the neurometric responses of 180 iPad owners, using a combination of EEG readings on emotion and cognition, plus eye tracking, surveys, and one-on-one interviews, to reveal emotional, cognitive, and visual responses to ads embedded in several Time Inc. publications. The results presented today represent just the tip of the iceberg, as more than 24 million data points were collected. This data is key in tailoring advertising to achieve a specific desired response in iPad users.

"The combination of EmSense Neurometrics and mobile eye tracking enabled us to learn about the iPad users' visceral experience as they navigated through magazines swiping, button pressing, and enjoying the ride," said Elissa Moses, Chief Analytics Officer, EmSense. "We learned that iPad advertising can be highly engaging and gained great insight on how advertisers can best leverage this new media."

This groundbreaking study provides the first scientific proof of how iPad users interact with advertising on this still-emerging device. New metrics are still being developed, but the findings in this study provide a base point for future research to build upon.