Neuroscience reveals value of interactivity over standard display ads

A new research study has demonstrated that innovative display ad formats deliver more effective interactivity, emotional response and dwell time with consumers than the industry standard. The research was conducted by neuro research specialists Neuro-Insight using marketing technology business Rezonence’s interactive FreeWall® technology. Using pioneering brain imaging technology, Neuro-Insight measured the neurological impacts of traditional MPU (Mid-Page Unit) advertisements against Rezonence’s FreeWall® format, carrying messages from leading haircare brand and a lottery provider. By measuring how long audiences spent with each ad iteration, the extent to which the ads were committed to memory, and also the emotional response that viewers had to the ads they saw, the study built up a profile of effectiveness for each of the two formats.

The research reveals that memory encoding in the left hemisphere of the brain – associated with words and details, and therefore crucial for branded messages – peaked at a level that was 29 per cent higher for the interactive ads that FreeWall® delivered than the traditional MPUs. The effect was particularly strong for the haircare brand where responses were 41 per cent higher. When taking emotional response into account, to understand how people feel about viewing advertisements, positive response was 25 per cent higher for the interactive ads. It was most significant for the haircare brand, where peak response to the interactive ad was strongly positive while the static ad was associated with a slightly negative response.  The positive emotional response was maintained after exposure to the Freewall® ad, when people returned to reading their on-screen content.

Dwell time was also significantly better for the interactive ads. The interactive haircare ad kept the audience on the screen for nearly twice as long as its static equivalent, while for the lottery brand they were on screen for 41 per cent more time.

These findings will be presented in full at the PPA Festival of Magazine Media on May 21st.

Heather Andrew, UK CEO of Neuro-Insight said:
“The findings build upon previous scientific research to demonstrate how interactivity helps aid the brain’s receptiveness to branded messages. Importantly, the study also demonstrates a positive sentiment towards an interactive format over static ones. Any brand wanting to stand out needs to recognise this and factor it into their campaigns.”

Prash Naidu, Founder and CEO at Rezonence, commented:
“These results clearly demonstrate the value that engagement and interactivity brings to brands and agencies.  The world is moving away from push and uni-directional marketing to a push-pull, conversational form and FreeWall® with its proven engagement is at the cutting edge of this revolution.”

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