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The advertising business – or, at least, the business of measuring how people respond to advertising – increasingly is going high-tech.

In the past year, Ad Week reports, “several high-tech firms, including EmSense, NeuroFocus, and OTX Research and Innerscope, have introduced portable, less intrusive and more affordable measurement devices to track and measure both brain waves and biologic data. Not surprisingly, a growing number of marketers and agencies are taking note, experimenting with the new devices in hopes that the resulting metrics will provide insights on ads appearing on any and all platforms … such techniques help marketers more accurately decipher consumers' feelings because they measure physical and emotional responses as they occur, as opposed to having people remember or interpret their feelings after the fact when doing things like surveys and focus groups.”

And, Ad Week writes: “Although marketers have pondered for years how much time, energy and resources they should devote to measuring emotional responses to their ad messages, recent research suggests they should take the leap. A March 2007 report from a joint task force of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that the traditional ‘think-feel-do model of how advertising works is incorrect,’ given new insights about the human brain's decision-making processes. ‘Emotional reactions not only come first, they facilitate memory and influence actions,’ the report said.”

KC's View:
Forgive me, but when I read about these devices, I immediately think of Malcolm McDowell’s Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s film version of Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” … being tortured by the government through aversion therapy that forces him to watch scenes of violence.