According to Variety magazine, the Disney company is working with a scientific laboratory known as the “Disney Media and Advertising Lab” or “Ad Lab” to analyze audience response to the ads appearing on its networks.
The lab building, which does not include the Disney logo, is located in Austin, Texas. Scientists dissect biometric data about eye tracking (left image above), heart rate, and galvanic skin response to better understand emotional reactions to ad content. According to Senior VP Artie Bulgrin, these data are far more accurate than the self-reporting of questionnaires.
Another technique called “facial coding” or “facial mapping” (right image, above) tracks tiny movements of individual facial muscles. For the future, the scientists at Ad Lab are considering including data from brain wave analysis to better understand how people respond to ads.
The lab’s primary mandate is to study advertising strategies on behalf of ESPN, ABC, and ABC Family, helping those multi-platform media networks to coordinate better with their advertising partners.
Ad lab studies classic metrics such as unaided recall to novel ad strategies like live ads, split screen ads, banners, and transparencies, where ads are superimposed over content.
No word yet on whether the mouse house is using ad lab to pre-test its motion pictures.
Adweek article on Ad Lab
"Austin to House Disney's Ad Lab"
Variety article: “Disney’s Lab Studies People” by David Cohen