PHD brain-scan initiative to help target consumers

Media agency PHD is set to make use of brain-scanning technology in order to better influence consumers in the Middle East.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  June 4, 2006

Media agency PHD is set to make use of brain-scanning technology in order to better influence consumers in the Middle East. It is believed to be the first time that the technique, which has been developed by neuroscientists and PHD researchers in the UK, has been used to target consumers in the region. Called ‘neuroplanning’, the technique relies on the findings of a project funded by PHD, which scanned people’s brains using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device. Researchers noted how different parts of the brain reacted when exposed to advertisements across different forms of media. PHD has combined the brain-scan data with marketing, media and target audience data and developed an interactive software tool that can be used to better develop the strategy, execution and planning for individual campaigns. PHD in Dubai, which is part of the Omnicom Media Group, is currently collating data from the local media landscape which will be fed into the software so that a programme unique to the region can be developed. “We are always searching for higher efficiency in terms of capturing engagement with consumers and obviously the more scientific components you add to your planning processes the closer you will come to that,” said Samar Salman, PHD’s general manager in Dubai. “You will have efficiencies in planning and accountability in your deliverables and your measurement. Clients will have better results and a new way of communicating with consumers.” Shadi Kandil, Omnicom Media Group’s director of consumer insights, said that the neuroplanning tool could help planners to better choose which medium is likely to have the greatest desired impact upon the consumer. “All we need to do is give the software a pointer on the objective of the campaign, the desired effect, then it will cross calculate that information with the information from the neuro-scanning and suggest the optimum model for that specific campaign,” he said. The technology is expected to be rolled-out to PHD’s clients by the end of the year. P Rival agency MindShare, meanwhile, has unveiled the findings of its latest Communications Channel Survey. The survey involved 1500 fact-to-face interviews in the UAE conducted on MindShare’s behalf by the Pan Arab Research Center. The study found that TV was the most effective ad-medium in the UAE. Overall 67.8% of Arab consumers in the UAE are influenced by ads on TV, 28.7% by outdoor, 30.3% by newspapers, 18.1% by radio and 22.5% by indoor.

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