Study finds influencer ads to be more effective than TV ads

According to a self-proclaimed world’s first neuroscience study, influencer marketing has proven to be more effective than television advertising.

The study which was commissioned by influencer marketing agency, Whalar, found that influencer ads were 277% more “emotionally intense” than TV ads,” as well as 87% more memorable.

To uncover the workings of influencers, the study used Steady State Topography (SST) – technology used by Neuro-Insight – to measure brain waves when they interacted with content, delivering unique insight into real-time responses.

187 respondents (who were all regular users of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube) were divided into one of three cells that were assigned depending on the influencers they followed on Instagram: Celebrity, maco influencers or micro influencers.

Each person wore a headset to measure their brain waves (their emotional valence and memory encoding, to be exact), while they interacted with content from both influencer and TV, Facebook and YouTube advertisements.

As well as finding that influencer ads were significantly more emotionally intense and memorable, the study discovered that Facebook ads generated 64% more emotional intensity and 182% memory encoding. Influencers also defeated YouTube ads by 28% in emotional intensity, and 73% in memory encoding. 

Additionally, it found that if people were shown an influencer ad prior to the TV, Facebook or YouTube ad from the same campaign, they were 58% more likely to respond positively to the TV, Facebook or YouTube ad, and 47% more likely to remember it.

“This is a massive shift, indicative that influencers should play a pivotal role in campaign strategy and media mix,” Whalar senior vice-president for research and analytics, Ian Forrester, said.

Neuro-Insights chief exec, Shazia Ginai, also added, ‘’Influencer is growing incredibly quickly, and Whalar recognised the need to not only understand what is driving this and how it can benefit brands, but also the huge merit in looking beyond conscious responses. We’re thrilled to have partnered with them on such groundbreaking work.’’