Buick executives believe the ubiquitous TV commercials they've been running since spring -- "That's not a Buick!" -- are connecting with consumers. Now they've got scientific proof, of sorts.
A Boston research firm that uses "consumer neuroscience" to gauge the effectiveness of advertisements says one 30-second Buick spot produced "one of the highest overall levels of emotional engagement" that the company has recorded.
Innerscope Research Inc. tested 50 volunteer viewers in October, collecting "biometric signals" such as changes in heart rate, breathing patterns and visual tracking to reflect the respondents' emotional response throughout the spot, which features four vehicles.
The 8-year-old firm measures the response moment-by-moment to produce what it calls an "engagement trace." On a 100-point scale, a response of 65 or higher reflects a viewer who is emotionally engaged, the firm says. The trace on the Buick spot, created by ad firm Leo Burnett, soared into the 80s.
Innerscope, which has worked for Procter & Gamble and Campbell Soup Co. as well as automakers, wasn't paid by Buick for the research.