In today's rapidly evolving media landscape, understanding how audiences respond to content is essential for advertisers and content creators. To gain deeper insights into this complex field, we sat down with Matt Strafuss, a key figure for over a decade at Affectiva, now a Smart Eye company. In this interview, Matt sheds light on Affectiva's offerings in the media analytics space and the challenges faced by professionals in the advertising industry. He also unveils an exciting new attention metric that promises to revolutionize the way we measure audience engagement.
Affectiva's Journey in Media Analytics
Affectiva burst onto the scene as pioneers in automatic facial coding technology. They were approached by various agencies seeking to develop applications that could facilitate facial coding on a large scale, particularly in the realm of video testing. These agencies were primarily focused on pre-testing advertisements, aiming to gauge emotional responses and unconscious reactions through facial expressions. Today, Affectiva's flagship offering is a sophisticated system embedded within traditional market research techniques for video and ad testing, allowing for the evaluation of emotional responses to various video formats.
Over the years, Affectiva has expanded its reach by packaging its core Emotion AI technology into diverse offerings suitable for a variety of industries. However, their roots remain firmly planted in the market research space, where they continue to analyze media reactions.
One of the unique aspects of Affectiva's approach is their role as a hidden layer behind many of their partner agencies. They seamlessly integrate their technology into existing research techniques, often going unnoticed by end clients. This strategy aligns with the preferences of many Fortune 500 companies that prefer a comprehensive package deal from their research agencies.
Challenges in the Advertising Space
The advertising industry is no stranger to complexity. Matt identifies the proliferation of research techniques and systems as one of the biggest challenges faced by professionals in the field. Clients often express enthusiasm about incorporating numerous data sources, from EEG outputs and galvanic skin responses to eye tracking and emotional face tracking. While these inputs can provide valuable insights, they also introduce complexity and potential confusion.
Simplification is the name of the game. Clients want the punchline without drowning in data. Affectiva recognizes this challenge and strives to create technology that not only meets high standards and is cutting-edge but is also comprehensible to non-experts. This approach ensures that their insights are accessible and actionable, even in the face of a data deluge.
Affectiva's New Attention Metric
In a world saturated with content, capturing and retaining the audience's attention is paramount. At Affectiva, we have long understood the importance of attention in the context of emotional response. However, our new attention metric represents a significant evolution in our approach.
Previously, Affectiva focused on whether individuals were looking toward the content or if they were distracted by something else. This was an essential foundation for understanding emotional response. However, the new attention metric represents a comprehensive reevaluation of our methodology.
With the new metric, Affectiva aims to revisit and refine their foundational assumptions, taking into account the changing landscape of the attention economy. The metric promises to offer a more holistic view of audience engagement, bringing together various technologies and insights to provide a deeper understanding of how attention influences emotional response.
By continually innovating and refining their offerings, Affectiva remains at the forefront of media analytics. Their commitment to simplicity, comprehensibility, and their relentless pursuit of deeper insights make them a valuable partner in today's ever-evolving media landscape.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Affectiva's journey from pioneering facial coding technology to unveiling a new attention metric underscores their dedication to helping advertisers and content creators unlock the secrets of audience engagement. With our expertise and forward-thinking approach, we are excited to continue shaping the future of media analytics.