Corporate Eye

Google is Reading Your Mind

Not even your brain waves are safe from the all-powerful reach of Google.  According to, Google and MediaVest have been studying brain waves to determine psychological responses to ads on video content.  It seems it’s not enough to know whether or not you click on an ad in an online video, now Google wants to know your internal, Freudian response to it, too.

Google tapped the skills of NeuroFocus to measure, “skin responses, eye movement and EEG brain scan” to determine internal, psychological responses to in-video overlay ads.  That all seems quite technical, yet the results of the study are not quite as technical.

The study proved that in-video overlay ads are, “compelling, add to the user experience, and improve positive brand response.”  Oh my, did they really need to study brain waves to get those results?  Surely there must be some amazing snippet of information that came from the study, but alas, it does not appear to be so.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask people what they think of in-video overlay ads?  How about analyzing actual consumer behavior?  Are brain wave metrics truly perceived as more accurate than actually speaking to consumers or watching their actions? 

What am I missing here?  Help me see the light and become pro-brain wave scans.  Perhaps I should think about it from a different angle.  Have you used brain wave scans to determine the effectiveness of your ads?  How about to get a feel for consumers’ perceptions of your brand?

Or is this just a case of “bring the high-priced, external consultant in to tell us exactly what we already know so we can justify our actions to the execs?”

Your thoughts?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.