Spencer Gerrol

Founder & CEO, SPARK Experience

Spencer Gerrol

Highlights

 

  • Enabled to test and scientifically validate different advertising formats that attract and positively engage users
  • Led to development of new advertising formats to improve user experience
  • Created value for client by significantly increasing mobile advertising revenue

Challenges

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, brings in $200 million in revenue per year, however was looking for a new way to keep mobile advertisers in the game as some of them questioned whether players actually saw the ads displayed during gameplay and clicked on them intentionally (or rather accidentally).

SPARK partnered with Ford and Rovio to develop, test, and scientifically validate new advertising formats that would do a better job of winning the customers’ visual, cognitive, and emotional attention and restore the confidence of advertisers.

Approach

Aiming to evaluate the performance of different mobile advertising formats (typical banner ads, interstitial ads, full screen and rich media ads), SPARK utilized iMotions Biometric Research Platform to track eye movements and measure brain activity (EEG) in order to analyze the players’ visual attention, emotional engagement and frustration levels elicited by ad display during mobile gameplay.

Besides, SPARK investigated at which point in the game the display of ads appeared to be particularly appealing or frustrating to players.

Outcome

The results from the study impressively demonstrated that one new type of ad developed by SPARK was able to call attention seven times more quickly, was looked at three times more frequently, and was remembered three times more often after the game.

Ultimately, SPARKs applied research led to improve user experience, lessen frustration and create more value for the user and the advertiser by helping significantly increase mobile advertising revenue.

Testimonial:

“With iMotions, we are able to
bring the whole package of biosensors into the game, ultimately allowing us to
 gain a deep understanding of emotions.
 I see biometrics developing into our specific business line.

We definitely want to
 focus a lot of attention on it with video-based ads being one of our future key 
interests. Utilizing iMotions’ API, we are able to bring biometrics into the field of
user experience and usability. We have even created our 
own algorithms that measure attention and emotion, allowing us to become
 highly efficient with our ability to analyze the data. We’re excited to continue to
work with iMotions as we move along.”

A conversation with SPARK’s Spencer Gerrol

iMotions recently sat down with SPARK’s Spencer Gerrol to talk about how the 
use of iMotions Biometric Research Platform became a true game changer for
his team at SPARK.


Why did you decide to add biometric measures to your suite of tools?

“It all started with a dream I had almost ten years ago about tracking emotion and attention in a more scientific way. At that time I focused
a lot on persuasive design, and I learned that one of the most important 
elements of persuasive design is emotion – our decision are based on how we 
feel 100% of the time. So for my research intentions, just asking people how they
 feel was not a satisfactory way of understanding the nature of emotional
 responses.

To analyze emotions more scientifically, I’ve been utilizing eye tracking since its
 $early, rather cumbersome days. Luckily, there has been a significant transition 
over the last couple of years from something extremely difficult to set up to
something now markedly more workable and suddenly available for practical
 web, advertisement, and usability studies.

Following the evolution of eye tracking hardware along with other biosensors
 such as EEG and GSR as they were becoming more and more accessible, we 
decided to make them part of SPARKs daily practice.”


What exactly do biometric measures add to the picture?

“In our Angry Birds study, we were aiming to analyze the effect of different 
advertising formats on visual attention. Moving from just asking people how they feel to actually
 measure brain activity, we were able to directly gain unbiased insights into the
 players’ frustration with the ad and how they were really feeling about it.
 Questionnaires often seduce participants to lie or even make something up,
 which might partly be due to social expectations or the fact that emotions are
 preconscious; biometrics, to the contrary, can reveal actual emotions. That is why 
they are of tremendous value for us.

In that sense, adding biometric sensors allows us to confirm the responses 
people give us in the surveys. You can definitely say that biometric
measurements help produce more reliable results.”

Which impact has iMotions had on your business?

“iMotions allowed us to easily and quickly gain the kind of insights we were able to acquire utilizing EEG and eye tracking in synergy. Our client initially
chose SPARK as we were the only ones offering eye tracking on mobile devices. 
They purchased an eye tracking study and we chipped in EEG on top just to show 
what we can do… and they were quite impressed by it.

So this success marks just the beginning. Excited by the insights biometric 
measures add to traditional usability testing, our client is keen to continue with
long-time setup studies looking at many further stimuli that could have an 
impact on emotional attention surrounding an ad. With iMotions, we are able to
bring the whole package of biosensors into the game, ultimately allowing us to
gain a deep understanding of emotions. I see biometrics developing into our specific business line. We definitely want to
 focus a lot of attention on it with video-based ads being one of our future key
 interests. Utilizing iMotions’ API, we are able to bring biometrics into the field of
user experience and usability. We have even created our 
own algorithms that measure attention and emotion, allowing us to become
 highly efficient with our ability to analyze the data. We’re excited to continue to
 work with iMotions as we move along.”

Spark Experience in the media:

The Herald
For whom are you voting? This guy can read your mind

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