Home » Beer tv commercials’ impact on consumers: a neuromarketing study

Beer tv commercials’ impact on consumers: a neuromarketing study

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by Alessia Anneo

1. Abstract

The measure of TV commercials or a product packaging liking is often assigned to the traditional marketing strategies, like focus group or questionnaires, but their weaknesses relate to the unreliability of the results.

This happens because people do not report precisely their internal perceptions when interviewed concerning product experiences or TV commercials

For this reason, neuromarketing was born, a discipline where neuroscience, marketing and psychology meet. Its main goal is to understand what happens in the consumer’s brain and what drives them to prefer a specific product over another one.

In fact, thanks to the application of neuromarketing techniques, it will be possible to detect the level of interest of consumers in certain stimuli.

In this research project, some Italian commercials of well-known industrial beer brands will be analysed, in order to understand consumers’ behaviour towards the advertised products. The beer brands taken into consideration are six: Ceres, Heineken, Ichnusa, Messina, Moretti and Peroni.

The neuromarketing tools used during the experiments are: the eye-tracker (it detects the focal points of each commercial and the less attractive areas); the electroencephalogram or EEG (it measures the brain activity related to the observation of commercials) and the galvanic skin response or GSR (it allows us to measure sweat gland activity, which is related to emotional arousal).

At the end of the experiment, the subjects analysed will be submitted to a questionnaire relating to beer world and TV commercials.

2. Materials

  • Eye-tracker, detecting the focal points of each commercial and the less attractive areas;
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG), measuring the brain activity related to the observation of commercials;
  • Galvanic skin response (GSR), measuring sweat gland activity, which is related to emotional arousal;
  • Questionnaire by Google Forms;
  • Computer screen, on which the video will be screened.

Figure 1. Tools used in the experiment.

3. Methods

For the success of the experiment, every element has been analysed in detail as follows:

  • Participants, 20 healthy subjects, will be enrolled in the study. Informed consent will be obtained from each subject after the explanation of the study. Volunteers do not need to be aware of the aim and the topic of the study, they just need to pay attention to what they have to look at.
  • Each of the subjects has to comfortably seat on a reclining chair, in front of a computer screen.
  • The volunteers has to be in a quiet and a dimly lit room.
  • The temperature in the room must be between 23 and 26 grades.
  • Move the hair and clean the skin on the forehead, the ear lobes, and the second and third fingers of the non-dominant hand with a chlorhexidine antiseptic solution to disinfect the skin before the application of EEG and GSR electrodes, positioning even the eye-tracker below the computer screen for the experiment.

Figure 2. The experimental setup of our neuromarketing study.

  • The subject and the computer screen (25 inches) have to be at a distance of 60 cm.
  • In the computer screen will run a neutral episode of a random TV series (Modern Family, season 4, episode 12), with a series of three commercial breaks inserted, as shown in figure 1, in which will be our stimuli.
  • Levels of attention, memorization and emotion of each beer commercial will be analysed.
  • At the end of the experiment, the subject will answer to a questionnaire (created with Google Forms) about beer and TV commercials, to understand their preferences.


It is important to affirm that cortical activity of the subjects will be tracked in the theta frequency band thanks to the EEG. On the one hand, brain activity of beer consumer may appear highlighted in red and yellow colours that leads to the significant increase of theta activity during the observation of the advertising.

On the other hand, brain activity of non-beer consumers may appear less highlighted during the observation of the commercials.

Every results can be also compared with the observation of the TV series to see the differences between the episode and the commercial.


  • Astolfi L., The Track of Brain Activity during the Observation of TV Commercials with the High-Resolution EEG Technology, 2009
  • Cartocci G., Electroencephalographic, Heart Rate, and Galvanic Skin Response Assessment for an Advertising Perception Study: Application to Antismoking Public Service Announcements, 2017
  • Cartocci G., Gender and Age Related Effects While Watching TV

Advertisements: An EEG Study, 2016

  • Vecchiato G., Neurophysiological Tools to Investigate Consumer’s Gender Differences during the Observation of TV Commercials, 2014
  • Vecchiato G., Spectral EEG frontal asymmetries correlate with the experienced pleasantness of TV commercial advertisements, 2011
  • Vecchiato G., Understanding the Impact of TV Commercials, 2012

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