NEWS22 January 2014

Affectiva and Millward Brown renew facial analysis deal

North America Technology

US — Facial expression analysis firm Affectiva has renewed its “multi-million, multi-year” agreement with Millward Brown.

With this agreement, Affectiva said that its Affdex automated facial coding “will be standardised in all ad copy analysis” for Millward Brown’s Link test clients.

Affdex uses webcams to record and analyse a person’s emotional state while they are viewing ad content.

Millward Brown and Affectiva first partnered in 2012. Millward Brown said it conducted more than 3,000 facial coding studies last year, compared to less than 400 the year before.

Graham Page, head of Millward Brown’s consumer neuroscience practice, said: “It’s been interesting to see that measuring people’s facial expressions in response to an ad seems to be able to capture subtle negative responses that are not necessarily reported elsewhere in Link but which end up being really important to the ad’s success in-market.

“The challenge with neuromarketing to date is that it has not been able to operate at the scale and price point that are necessary in the day-to-day market research world. By including facial coding with Link we’re able to make neuromarketing scalable for the first time.”

Millward Brown’s parent company Kantar is an investor in Affectiva.