Advertisers seek to evoke specific emotions at specific points in time with their content. What they don’t know is whether or not these time-related creative decisions have the desired impact... or even if they make a difference! This type of efficacy data is hard to come by and some advertisers don’t even know it exists. But this data does exist, and it’s the solution to their time-related inquiries. It’s called time series data. This data can help them learn about the emotional impact all sections of a piece of content have on a target audience.
What is Time Series data?
Time series data tracks how an audience responds to content on a second-by-second (or time series!) basis as they view or listen to it. Each individual in the audience reports the emotions he or she feels and to what degree he or she feels them. Together, these responses generate chronological data displayed using a line graph, which shows how the various emotions differ and overlap over time.
This allows the marketer or content creator to know how the audience felt at any specific time while exposed to a piece of content, and how quickly these individuals start feeling a particular emotion. It also gives advertisers a granular look at the emotional structure of their ads. If they want to know how their audience felt fifteen seconds into the ad, all they have to do is look at this data.
Why Should Advertisers Use Time Series Data?
Advertisers can use this data to learn how and when their audience responds to specific visual and audio components in their ads. For example, they can add a crescendo at a specific point in the music and see how the audience responds to that same spot with or without the crescendo. They could even experiment with two different pieces of video content placed at the exact same point in the ad, and see which evokes a stronger response. Testing multiple versions of an ad with these types of adjustments can reveal what appeals more to the target demographic.
Advertisers can also use time series data for the development of new ads. The data can help determine what part of the music to use in the ad, and how to match it to video. They can also use this feedback to tweak and manipulate weak areas. With a deeper understanding of how these changes impact the audience, advertisers can better assess both the strong and weak spots of an ad. By strengthening these weaker areas, the overall emotional impact could increase dramatically.
Examples of Time Series Data
An automotive company we’re working with wanted to evaluate two different spots to ensure that both stayed Happy and Relaxed over time.
Video A was consistently Happy and Relaxed. Video B, on the other hand, showed sharps dips for Happy right in the middle of the video, as well as at the end. Video B clearly had some specific areas that needed improvement to maintain the Happy emotion.
We also tested another video to evaluate whether it was Excited and Happy, and to ensure that all parts of it evoked the same levels of these emotions. As it turns out, the emotional response varied greatly across the timeline. The last sixty seconds most consistently evoked both of the target emotions Excited and Happy. However, the beginning and middle sixty seconds showed significant dips for Excited towards the middle and the end. Thus, the emotional message was inconsistent throughout the video. The beginning and middle reduced the overall excitement level.
A lot of emotional variation can exist across a single piece of content. It is up to the advertiser to decide whether this variation is helping or hindering the message of the ad. In this case, the client wanted a consistent emotional framework, and the ad didn’t match his or her intentions. Other clients, however, may want their audience to experience an emotional rollercoaster for a different kind of emotional impact. It all depends on what they want the ad to accomplish.
Time series data can be a crucial tool for shaping the emotional impact of an ad. It enables advertisers to understand how their audience reacts to every second of the ad. From this, they can learn where they need to improve, and whether or not the specific points in the ad have the response they want. This is useful for both understanding the performance of current ads and the production of new ads. Really digging into the details of what is and isn’t working on a second-by-second basis in their content provides marketers with deeper knowledge. The more advertisers learn what and where content evokes particular emotions, the better they can cater to their target audience.