Espressioni facciali e marketing: Gli effetti neurofisiologici della pubblicità sullo spettatore

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Facial expressions and marketing: The neurophysiological effects of advertising on the viewer

Michela Balconi, Irene Venturella, Daniela De Filippis, Laura Angioletti, Gioele Sbarbaro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


[Autom. eng. transl.] Increasingly, nowadays, advertising interacts with the consumer, reducing the distance between virtual and real space. The present study aims to investigate how the facial expressions present in the commercials can influence the understanding and the ability to recall the advert and the advertised product. A sample of 19 subjects was involved in the vision of a set of advertising stimuli emotionally characterized by positive, negative or neutral valence given by the facial expression of the characters that are actors of the advertisement. The advertising stimuli belonged to the commercial categories of food and health, with the presentation of food products and drugs. Each advertising stimulus was evaluated through the adjectives of a semantic differential and through the SAM - Self Assessment Manikin scale. For the duration of the experiment, cortical activity was measured through electroencephalography (EEG), physiological measurements through biofeedback and eye movements through the eyetracker. At the end of the experiment a questionnaire was given on the memory of the products advertised. Given the attentional focus on the faces present in the commercials confirmed by the analysis of the sample's eye movements, the data show differences in the autonomic activation of the subjects with reference to the value of the videos proposed and the category of advertising. In particular there is an increase in heart rate and zygomatic muscle activity for the vision of advertising with a positive value for the food category. This type of activation is not present for the health category, in which the activation of the zygomatic muscle and the average of the pulsations is greater for negative advertising. It would therefore seem that a dissonance is perceived between the positivity of facial expression and the category to which it belongs. It is possible that there is a prevalence of semantic processing on the mirroring mechanism. From the electrophysiological data it can be inferred that the processing of the valence of the positive video is to be charged not so much to the positive facial expression but to the dissonant context with the proposed emotion: there are in fact values of the greater theta band in the right frontal area for the positive video in the health category compared to the food category. Indeed, it is known from literature that the right hemisphere is involved in the processing of negative or unpleasant stimuli. The data of electrophysiological (EEG) and autonomic (Biofeedback) measurements reflect on the memory of the advertised product as the positive spot of the health category is the least present to subjects in the post experimental evaluation phase. The usefulness of the present study and of the suggestions deriving from the data is to be found not only in suggesting to the producer the most effective strategy in persuading the consumer, but also in sensitizing the latter to a more responsible purchase.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Facial expressions and marketing: The neurophysiological effects of advertising on the viewer
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationAtti del «XXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP»
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventXXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP - Bari
Duration: 20 Sep 201722 Sep 2017


ConferenceXXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP


  • Consumatore
  • EEG
  • Espressioni facciali
  • Indici autonomici
  • Marketing


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