Innovation That Matters

Enhanced video ads track viewers' emotions in real time

Advertising & Marketing

Virool's elQ facial recognition platform enables advertisers to monitor their audience's emotional reactions to ads in real time.

TV and video commercials have always had a particular fondness for pathos as a sales tool. This past Christmas’ TV commercials made it all too clear that tears are now as golden as industry awards for present day creative directors, and the logic is, of course, sound: Advertisers know that emotionally stimulating content is more likely to engage their audience, hopefully leading to greater social interaction with the brand and higher sales. It’s a thought process that lies at the core of our most recent spotting, Virool, which is the first video ad platform to monitor an audiences’ reaction in real time and measure the success of videos with quantitive data.

Virool recently launched their elQ platform, which hosts enhanced video content. When a viewer comes across an elQ advert while browsing the web, a popup will ask permission to access their computer’s camera. If permission is denied a regular advert will play, but if granted, Virool’s software will then monitor the viewer’s reaction to the advert using RealEyes emotional response technology.

The platform tracks 10,000 points on the face at a rate of 10 frames per second and transmits the data to elQ’s cloud based recognition engine. This engine has been designed to identify emotions in real time, including happiness, sadness, surprise and engagement. The software also tracks eye movements and heart rate to measure the viewer’s level of interest and excitement.


Online video advertisers can then access the analytics to determine the success of their ad — with detailed breakdowns revealing particularly successful or unsuccessful moments — which can be used to improve content in the future. Statistics are currently shown as an aggregate score from the total number of watching users, but work is in progress to enable access to individual analytics from a single viewer.

We have already seen facial recognition software OptimEyes helping marketers access deep audience analytics. How else could the technology be used to enhance advertisers’ understanding of their audience?



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