MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based audience research, incorporating a range of neuro-measures including biometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin, MediaScience is discovering actionable insights in advertising, technology, media, and consumer trends.
Dr. Duane Varan, the global authority of neuromarketing research, founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) during his tenure at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2001. In 2005, he launched the Beyond : 30 Project, a consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape, and in 2008, he was approached by Disney Media Networks to set up a dedicated custom research lab on a broader scale – and so MediaScience was born. Though he officially left Murdoch in 2015, he continues to maintain some research links with the University of South Australia and has been widely recognised for his innovative contributions to teaching and the neuromarketing industry as evidenced by a long list of awards and over 90 published academic papers in his field.
Below is an abstract from one of Dr. Varan’s papers about how Chipotle used unbranded content to increase purchase intention by changing beliefs about ethical consumption from the Journal of Marketing Communications.
To combat ad avoidance, advertisers are moving advertising into programs, a practice known broadly as branded entertainment. The difficulty of advertising to Millennials has also prompted the use of unbranded cause advertising, to increase awareness of issues championed by the brand, without triggering defensive persuasion-coping strategies. Chipotle combined both these trends when it produced a relatively unbranded piece of branded entertainment, Farmed and Dangerous, a four-episode sitcom that humorously dramatized the ethical issues raised by industrial farming. When the series ran on Hulu, an online television network, it increased sales for the Chipotle brand and won awards for its creators. This study reports a classic pre/post experimental design, to show how exposure to this unbranded entertainment increased purchase intention by changing beliefs about ethical issues related to the environment, nutrition, and gene technology.
Bellman, Steven & Rask, Amy & Varan, Duane. (2017). How Chipotle used unbranded content to increase purchase intention by changing beliefs about ethical consumption. Journal of Marketing Communications. 25. 1-20. 10.1080/13527266.2017.1381860.