Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/24/google_brain_scans/

Google: Guinea pig brainwaves prove video ads 'compelling'

When you watch YouTube, what's your 'skin response'?

By Cade Metz

Posted in Media, 24th October 2008 22:01 GMT

As part of its increasingly desperate attempt to actually make some money from YouTube, Google is reading the brainwaves of human guinea pigs in an effort to judge the effectiveness of video ads.

As reported by ZDNet, Google has teamed with an outfit dubbed NeuroFocus to measure the impact of video overlay ads on brain activity, eye movement, and, um, skin response.

NeuroFocus bills itself as a company that applies "the latest advances in neuroscience to the world of advertising and messaging," and after running those Googlicious EEG brain scans, it has reached the following conclusions:

1) InVideo overlay ads are compelling

2) InVideo overlay ads add to user experience

3) InVideo overlay ads improve positive brand response

Which makes us wonder whose brains they were scanning. If you know someone who finds InVideo overlay ads "compelling," do drop us a line.

Of course, we've yet to meet someone who's even marginally compelled to click on other Google ads, and last quarter, the company raked in $1.35bn in profits.

With search ads, however, we wouldn't be surprised if there are millions on people on earth who don't realize they're ads.

In any event, Google's brain-scan-fueled video ad conclusions are just what you'd expect from the world's largest ad broker. In announcing quarterly earning this summer, co-founder Sergey Brin dubbed Google's search ads "a very important source of information." And on the search side, the company has far less reason to talk such nonsense.

On the video side, the company is having some trouble convincing old school Madison Avenue types that YouTube ads are worthwhile. If you paid $1.65bn for a website no one wanted to advertise on, you'd be tossing brainwave nonsense too. ®