Thursday, February 9, 2006

Neuroscientist Questions Effectiveness Of Some Super Bowl Commercials

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – While some ad execs may be high-fiving each other over the success of their Super Bowl commercials, one neuroscientist is claiming several ads failed to engage viewers.

Dr. Marco Iacoboni – a neuroscientist at UCLA’s Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center – used something called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain responses in a group of subjects while they watched the Super Bowl ads.

The process required five subjects to watch the commercials in an MRI-like scanner while wearing goggles hooked up to two LCD monitors.

While USA Today named Budweiser’s “Secret Fridge” ad the top Super Bowl commercial, Iacoboni says it failed to elicit a strong emotional, empathy-related response.

Others have praised the “FedEx Caveman” commercial, but Iacoboni says neurologically, it was one of the three biggest flops, along with the Burger King and GoDaddy ads.

However, he says, “There was a big response to the crushing of the poor caveman.” The brain perceived this as “threatening,” which he notes is probably “not so good” for the brand.

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