To assess advertising effectiveness, NeuroFocus uses electroencephalography, a "measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp." (wiki)
AdAge has published the results of a study that showed what SuperBowl ads caused the most brain activity (it's Coke's balloons ad and a Bud Light spot). The study was done by Sands Research.
In other mind-reading news today:
Press release: "The Nielsen Company today announced that it has made a strategic investment in NeuroFocus, an innovative firm that specializes in applying brainwave research to advertising, programming and messaging. The two companies will work together in an alliance to develop new forms of measurement and metrics based on the latest advances in neuroscience.
The Nielsen Company and NeuroFocus are joining forces to initially bring an array of new science-based products, services and metrics to clients in consumer packaged goods, television, film and emerging media. At the same time, Nielsen will integrate NeuroFocus’ techniques into existing services to better understand the elements of successful consumer engagement.
Consumers wear a specially designed baseball cap embedded with sensors that passively track brain responses about 2000 times a second as they interact with advertising or marketing materials. NeuroFocus can precisely and instantaneously determine what parts of the messages they pay attention to; how they emotionally engage with them; and what is actually moved to memory."
If you want a sensor hat for yourself, you can get one here for about $12K.