Ever wondered what your audience thinks of your ad designs? Are they bold enough, bright enough, or clear enough? Do they gain enough attention, or is there far too much to digest?
Luckily, with AI and neuromarketing tools becoming more accessible and usable, we can now gain a much better understanding of consumer behaviour in advertising.
Testing new neuromarketing technology
To better understand our audience and their behaviours, we’ve chosen to invest in a new neuromarketing technology, Neurons, to test, predict, and optimise our creatives.
By using this technology, we are now able to take the guesswork out of our design processes and make data-backed decisions. By running creatives through Neurons, we’re able to review the neuromarketing analysis quickly and easily. Whether that be through an instant A/B test with two creatives, or a test and amend process, designs can now be much better informed, resulting in better creative performance.
The scoring system
Neurons Predict can give scores based on focus, cognitive demand, clarity, and engagement.
Focus is an index based on how large a portion of the ad draws attention. It can also indicate where on the image or video the viewers’ attention is drawn to. So, it can tell us if there are too many areas of focus, as the key messages or elements can lose impact.
Low focus scores often indicate attention that is scattered across the image or video frame. Higher scores are achieved when attention is focused on one, or very few elements, meaning that viewers are likely to see this or these when exposed to your asset.
Cognitive demand is a measure of the amount of visual information the viewer has to process while looking at the asset. Cognitive demand scores will be higher when ads appear more visually complex, whereas lower scores indicate visuals that are easier to process. However, this can make the viewer spend less time looking at your ad, so it’s about getting the right balance.
Clarity scores predict how clearly the viewer will experience your asset. Low clarity scores tend to indicate that your assets are cluttered and hard to understand. When low scores appear, we need to consider whether the different visual elements that make up your designs are important in conveying your key messages.
High clarity scores mean that designs are clear and easy to digest. This is something to really aim for, as it means that viewers can focus on the key elements.
Engagement scores are based on how immersed your viewers will feel when they’re exposed to your asset. High engagement leads to increased brand memory and purchasing behaviour. Elements within your creative such as faces, objects, large letters and offers drive engagement through emotion. To increase engagement, consider simple, clear and recognisable brand elements.
We also have the option to view the analysis with fog and heat maps for clarity and engagement, illustrating the key areas of interest, and how strong or weak they are scoring.
Neurons in use
Below, you can see a simple example of how our AI comparison tool works:
Here, we’ve mocked up two versions of an ‘ad’ using some placeholder copy, as well as some simple shapes and colours, mimicking roughly an offer/sales-related ad in 1:1 format – often the sort of thing you may see on Meta platforms. The left ad has more information and visual elements, whereas the right ad has a much more stripped-back design.
Using the attention heatmap viewing tool, you can already see the areas of the ad that viewers will be drawn to. On the left ad, the heat is drawn to two main areas: the key messaging with the smaller copy, and the offer roundel in the top right.
In the right-hand ad, the heat is mainly focused on the key messaging, and the call to action gets a little bit of attention.
Looking specifically at the scores, and some simple tips that may improve the scores:
Focus appears lower on the left, meaning attention is scattered across multiple areas of the ad. As the right is more simplistic, there are fewer areas to focus on.
Tip: Really think about what your key message is. Can you reduce the amount of information you’re including on your ad creative? Or can it at least be reduced? Remember, you have your ad copy to expand further on your messaging.
Cognitive demand score is higher for the left ad as it’s more visually complex. This means the right ad is easier to process, but we have to ask the question of whether there might actually be too few branded visual elements, posing the question of whether the brand would be memorable enough.
Tip: Try not to overcrowd and overdo it with the elements. Keep it clear and concise to ensure your key information is easy to digest.
Clarity scores here are interestingly the same – this might suggest that even though the left ad has more going on, the use of simple shapes, and bold fonts and colours is enough for it to remain clear and easy to understand. 86 is quite high, so that’s a strong score for both.
Tip: Keep your fonts big and bold, so they are easy to read and accessible for all viewers. Ensure there is enough contrast between colours, and wherever you’re using graphics or images, don’t let them interfere with text too much.
Engagement scores highest on the left ad. This is expected to be a result of having more visual elements – simple shapes, colours, and large lettering. This suggests that viewers would be more immersed in the ad while viewing it, meaning brand memory is likely to be increased.
Tip: Visuals and branded elements are a great way of making your ads more engaging and recognisable to your brand. But be sure to stay on brand, and to not overdo it.
Neurons also allows us to test other types of creatives. From web banners to packaging design, we can see how this clever neuromarketing tool analyses any type of creative, giving us instant actionable results to improve performance.