Is Facial Coding Useful For Marketers?

Brand Strategy, Creative Efficacy

Is Facial Coding useful for Marketers?

Posted 25 Jun 2018

EMOTIONS IN ADVERTISING: Recently, we found it worrisome to learn that more than a third of global Fortune 500 companies are using facial coding for ad pre-testing and some (e.g. Unilever and Mars) have made it a mandatory for copy-testing. Brands want to understand emotion in consumption. Great, no quarrel there. So, why does this news worry us? We are concerned because facial coding for ad testing does not predict purchase behaviour. Adding to our concerns about facial coding a new study from Northeastern University published in the journal Psychological Bulletin (2018) argues it is false to believe that facial expressions are constant across people and situations and that they can be measured by artificial intelligence. We examine here.