The BBC is using facial recognition to measure if native ads work
Like many publishers, the BBC wants to prove native advertising works. But instead of just relying on awareness and brand lift surveys, the BBC is turning to facial-recognition technology.
In the fall, the BBC used software from CrowdEmotion to measure 5,000 people’s conscious and subconscious emotional responses to content marketing campaigns on BBC.com from clients like HSBC, Dassault and Hainan Island Tourism. Now, the BBC is rolling out the capability broadly to clients of its StoryWorks content studio.
The facial-recognition software uses webcam tests with each participant activating the tech via their desktop. For the unconscious measurement, facial movements were recorded on a second-by-second basis and then divided into six possible emotions: sadness, puzzlement, happiness, fear, rejection and surprise.
“CMOs often talk about difficulties around internal buy-in and appreciation of [content marketing],” said Richard Pattinson, head of BBC StoryWorks. “Audience appreciation indexes have been bread and butter for broadcasters for decades for testing response to their shows, but it’s a newer area for brands. It can give us more metrics beyond the usual dwell time and pageviews.”
BBC Advertising may have been later than other publishers to launch a content-marketing shop, having hung up a shingle only last June. But it hasn’t wasted time catching up. Currently, revenue that come through StoryWorks is at 30 percent of overall ad sales, and Pattinson expects that to rise to 50 percent in the next few years.
“Early attempts to use digital actions such as clicks, likes and comments as a proxy for true mental ‘engagement’ have a lot of drawbacks, and there’s little evidence that they will correlate with business results,” said Jerry Daykin, global digital partner at Carat. “Facial recognition may prove to be a more encapsulating measure of how consumers are relating to content because they help capture more of the passive reaction that we know most consumers have.”
During the test, the BBC examined a sponsor-content campaign with HSBC. The facial-image recognition tech showed that the emotional involvement with the campaign was heightened when the brand labeling was made clear.
Bloomberg Media is testing paid tiers for virtual events
Bloomberg is testing a virtual events model where attendees could pay different amounts to attend with a slew of tracks.
Member ExclusiveCase Study: How The Week successfully created a children’s media property amid the pandemic
The Week created and grew a children's publication in the unprecedented pandemic year to keep young audiences engaged.
‘They won’t enable our identifier’: Identity tech providers try to make sense of Google’s plan not to support alternate identifiers
Some identifiers just won’t work in some Google inventory, but identity tech providers are keeping a stiff upper lip.
SponsoredHow publishers are maximizing retention after the COVID-19 subscription surge
Michael D. Silberman, senior vice president of strategy, Piano For many publishers, 2020 was a good year for subscriptions, and the trend has continued into 2021. For example, over the last month, The New York Times grew active news subscriptions by 48%, and Insider has doubled its subscriber base to just over 100,000 in the […]
‘It moved quicker than we planned’: iProspect’s global president Amanda Morrissey on the restructure with Vizeum
iProspect's global president Amanda Morrissey expects to complete Denstu-owned performance agency's restructure with Vizeum by the end of March.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: Media companies’ diversity reports show compounding leadership gap problem
Media companies’ diversity shortcomings pervade their organizations, but lack of diversity among their executive and management ranks is particularly problematic.