Realeyes was founded on the basis that behavioural economics suggests emotional response may be a better predictor of ad effectiveness than rational measures.
It uses webcams to test people’s emotional reactions to advertising, with participants granting access to their computers, from which they view advertisers’ content.
Founded in London by Mihkel Jäätma, Elnar Hajiyev and Martin Salo in 2006, it has raised $10.5m (£7.2m) to develop its technology, which measures the six major emotions – happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, disgust and confusion, as well as engagement and general negative feelings. Results are shown on a dashboard and benchmarked against competitors.
In 2015, it was part of Unilever’s ‘Foundry 50’ competition at Cannes Lions to find the best marketing startups.
One of its customers, TomTom, tested an ad and found that it scored highly with American men, badly with American women and best with French and Spanish women, according to an article in the FT. TomTom could adjust its media plan as a result.