24 Jul Interview: Understanding the Effects of Storytelling with Neuro-Insight
Interview: Understanding the Effects of Storytelling with Neuro-Insight
Full interview transcript:
I’m Heather Andrew. I’m CEO of Neuro-Insight here in the UK. We measure brain response to communication. So we’re talking today with our clients at Right Move. We looked at a TV ad they’d done recently where they wanted to understand the effects of storytelling. So they’re telling quite an emotional ad in the area of property. They wanted to understand how the brain was reacting to that ad. We put headsets on people. We measured their brain response as they watched. We found out was happening in terms of emotion, but also what we were putting to memory, because it’s really important that you don’t just come away with a sense of a lovely ad, but you know what the brand was at the end of it.
Really successful ad. We found probably three key things to take away in terms of its success. Told a great story. Our brains are really engaged by stories. That’s what keeps brain response up. It had a positive resolution, so the ad had a very sad moment in it, but it ended up with a very happy moment. The branding was introduced at that happy moment, so the branding not only went into memory, but it went into memory with a really positive emotional response as well. Those were the three things, the storytelling, the resolution and the branding, which made it a highly successful ad.
So picking up on the theme of first aid for brands. One of the key things that we always talk to our brands about is making sure your brand gets into memory even if you create a beautiful emotional ad, it’s got to get into memory to impact behaviour. The one very specific thing that we look out for which is, if you like, the CPR of brand health is our brains collect snapshots of information. When they’ve collected a number of those, they bundle them together and file them away. We call it conceptual closure. That’s a good thing. It’s showing that they’re following the narrative, but whilst it’s doing that, it’s a processing pause where the brain isn’t taking in information. If you create an ad which has a bit of information, then another, then another, and then some sort of resolution followed by the brand, which is a very common way of constructing things, the brain will effectively take a snapshot, then another one, then another one.
The resolution of the story triggers conceptual closure. There’s a processing pause at the point where the brand’s introduced, and so the branding doesn’t get through. One of the key things we talk to brands about is how you position your branding within the ad to take advantage of the emotion, but also to avoid the pitfalls of conceptual closure.