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Mars identifies relationship between consumers' emotional response to ads and sales performance


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

March 21, 2017 | 3 min read

Mars, Incorporated has teamed up with emotion measurement technology specialists Realeyes to help identify the creative aspects in its advertising which can trigger the kind of emotional response in consumers that leads to sales.


According to Realeyes the results will allow Mars to tell whether an ad will result in sales or not

The study measured how people felt while they watched ads by using artificial intelligence to analyse their facial expressions through their webcams. It consisted of 149 ads across 35 brands involved 22,334 people in six countries.

Realeyes technology measures the micro-movements of the face and uses computer vision and machine learning to analyse them, focusing on expressions of happiness, surprise, confusion, disgust, engagement, and behaviours such as how and when people move their head.

By cross-referencing Realeyes' emotion data with the known sales lift data for each ad, Mars was able to investigate the relationship between emotions and sales performance.

The result found that the emotions data could be used to correctly identify whether the ads had an impact of sales 75% of the time.

“Being able to identify strong creative with high sales impact enables advertisers to push these ads, and avoid putting media spend behind those with low, or worse – no sales impact,” said Realeyes chief executive, Mihkel Jäätma.

Jäätma said that the data could be used to help brands spend their campaign budgets more effectively by “optimising ad creation and media buying at no additional cost”.

“Just think – an algorithm can detect how people feel about an advert by tracking their facial expressions, and that can tell us whether that ad will sell or not – that’s exactly what our scientists been working to achieve.”

The study builds on early work from Mars which experimented with alternative ways of ad targeting using techniques such as identifying when people are most likely to have impulse moments.

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