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Back to the Future Part II : Advertising in 2019

Discover what the advertising in 2019 looked like!

Welcome back to the second part of our look back at 2019’s advertising trends. We’re still in the year 2020 and this time around we’re looking back at how brands and advertisers used science and emotions to reach audiences throughout 2019.


Neuroscience took off for content testing

When combined with self-reported survey data, facial coding can be a strong indicator of a viewer’s intuitive response to stimuli and provides a second by second emotional view of a video.

Brands took this to the next level in 2019 using permission-based deeper biometric testing techniques such as neuro testing, EEG and galvanic skin response to capture a fuller picture of viewer responses to content.


Come on get happy

You’d be forgiven for thinking we live in bleak times. But according to Max Roser, an economist at the University of Oxford, there is every reason to smile. The world is a much better place than it has ever been in almost every way: poverty, literacy, health, freedom, and education.

According to our proprietary emotional data set, video advertising is getting happier too. After surveying almost half a million respondents in 2018, the prevalence of positives across the ads we’ve tested has grown too. Happiness is up from 7% to 10%; Inspiration 5 to 8%; Amazement 4 to 7% and Warmth from 5 to 6%.

In 2019 the opportunity for brands to give people what they want and lift the mood of the world became even more important.

Happy crowd

Pay your respects

In 2019 subscriptions models continued to grow and put publishers in the driving seat. Premium news brands got 70% of their revenue from recurring revenue, and subscription models accounted for over half of internet and media growth.

This matters because publishers are one of the few entities in a post GDPR world with access to true first party data.   

The value exchange for great content became clearer, and consumers were more frequently willing to pay for quality.


Bust a mood

Savvy advertisers have known the power of emotional targeting for years, but we all know intuitively that the mood a person is in affects their receptiveness to a message.

While the core emotional DNA of a person may be fairly static (some people respond more positively to happy content than others), the mood of someone fluctuates based on time of day, situation, media environment and the weather.

In 2019 mood matching became more prevalent and more powerful than ever. With brands and advertisers seeing the benefits of reaching audiences in real time, with ads that match how they are feeling.

umbrella woman

To be continued…

Keep your eyes peeled for Back to the Future Part III: Advertising in 2019 where we will look at streaming services, shoppable video and brand bypass.

Click here to jump back in time and read part 1 of the series.