While not quite as out there as EEG-tracking to determine consume responses to brand messaging, eye tracking — which uses webcams to follow eyeballs as people peruse ads online — is getting more sophisticated.
Traditional web tracking techniques provide data on clicking and scrolling patterns, while eye tracking analyzes user interaction, i.e., what’s literally most eye-catching, in between the clicks, as well as what’s confusing or ignored altogether.
Stockholm-based MRC Online EyeTracking uses technology developed by Tobii Technology to literally track viewers' gaze, and defines effectiveness by where and how long people look at individual elements of advertising.
That analysis is what attracted P&G to sign up with MRC to track the effectiveness of its Pampers brand marketing in Scandinavia.
The Pampers online campaign tested proved most effective among 100 online ads tested from a variety of marketers in a study among 400 participants viewing the ads at home in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
"We are extremely happy that Pampers was recognized as the most effective ad [in the MRC study]," commented Krister Karjalainen, head of digital for P&G in the Nordic region to Ad Age.
"As P&G is driving digital innovation to better serve consumers, we are also looking into improving online measurement methods. Eye-tracking technology is an interesting technology that could help."
MRC has conducted research in thirty countries, testing about 100 ads a week and delivering results in 48 hours. Their competitive advantage – only a webcam is required reducing costlier forms of biometric and neuromarketing research using headsets.
"Eye tracking offers unique objectivity and insight into what people pay attention to and experience," says Mathias Plank, founder and CEO of MRC International.
Another fascinating application — games, such as this eye tracking demo during an Angry Birds session: