The ARF Inaugural NeuroStandards Retreat

On January 12-14, 2011 at Campbell Soup Headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, 40 senior review panel members, research vendors, gold brand sponsors, gold media sponsors, silver sponsors and ARF personnel gathered to discuss significant insights and key findings from the unprecedented Engagement 3: NeuroStandards Collaboration. This groundbreaking ARF research project, led by Horst Stipp, EVP, Global Business Strategy at the ARF and Duane Varan, Ph.D., Director, Interactive Television Research Institute/ Executive Director, Murdoch University, Australia and CRO, The Disney Media and Advertising Lab will provide much-needed transparency about biometric and neurological research methods.

Neurostandards Retreat

In advance of the retreat, each of the research vendors involved (Gallup & Robinson, Innerscope, MSW Research/LAB, Mindlab International, NeuroCompass, Neuro-Insight, Sands Research, and Sensory Logic) were asked to analyze eight commercials—one from each gold brand sponsor (American Express, Campbell Soup, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, General Motors, Hershey's, Miller Coors and JP Morgan Chase).

The research vendors presented their reports to each sponsor prior to the retreat. The reports were also reviewed by a number of subject matter experts (for example, Electroencephalography (EEG) experts looked at EEG reports, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experts looked at fMRI reports). Subject matter expert reports were then distributed to a panel of expert reviewers who provided their assessment at the retreat. The panel was led by Horst Stipp of the ARF and included:

  • Patrick Barwise, London Business School;
  • Christopher Chabris, Union College/MIT Center for Collective Intelligence;
  • Annie Lang, Indiana University;
  • and René Weber, University of California.

Neurostandards Retreat Room

At the retreat, each vendor presented an overview of their findings to the entire cohort. Each research vendor then had the opportunity to meet individually with both the expert review panel and each sponsor, where they were asked questions about their methods and their applications.

The expert reviews, discussions and key findings from the ARF NeuroStandards Retreat will be presented in March at Re:think 2011 – The ARF 75th Anniversary Annual Convention. Some of the major topics that will be explored include:

  • How neuromarketing research can produce new insights for advertising, branding, and other marketing research projects;
  • Which biometric and neurological methods are best suited for specific research objectives and what are the advantages and disadvantages of these methods compared to traditional research methodologies;
  • Best practice recommendations for both users of this research as well as vendors.

Thank you to Bob Woodard and his team at Campbell Soup who graciously provided meeting facilities, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a wonderful reception for all retreat attendees. Thank you also to our gold brand sponsors, gold media sponsors, and silver sponsors for making this very important initiative possible.

Industry experts have their say about the NeuroStandards project:

"Neuroscience has rapidly expanded its impact in the Marketing decision process in last 2 years. The ARF NeuroStandards project therefore provides a unique opportunity for the industry to assess many of the diverse approaches and tools that are available, in an open and equitable manner. This will ultimately lead to generalized learning that will ensure those vendors truly able to help decision making are identified and publically recognized."
Richard Thorogood - Director of Strategic Insights & Analytics, Colgate-Palmolive

"The ARF's Neurostandards review proactively provides the industry the opportunity separate substance from hype in understanding how the science of Neuromeasurement should be used to improve our marketing efforts on behalf of our clients."
Sam Sotiriou - Sr. VP - Media Research, Zenithmedia

"Biometric and Neuro methods open exciting new horizons for media and marketing research. Validation helps ensure that these are used appropriately in terms of methods, interpretation, applications and their ethical considerations. This is a ground-breaking project which we're excited to support."
Dr. Duane Varan - Director, Interactive Television Research Institute/ Executive Director, Murdoch University, Australia and CRO, The Disney Media and Advertising Lab

"It is very important to the ARF to provide leadership in promising new advertising research areas such as neuromarketing research. This project will provide new insights to the industry that will benefit users as well as vendors."
Horst Stipp - EVP, Global Business Strategy, The ARF

Read more about The ARF NeuroStandards Collaboration »