Lie to me

I loved this show. For the first year it aired I was relentless. If you sat in a meeting with me you probably would have found yourself VERY uncomfortable at some point while I overtly stared at you, analyzing every subtle shift of your eyebrow while I listened to the words that accompanied (sorry about that by the way)…

The concept and theory behind it adds to how intriguing I think this new approach to content creation, development and research is.

Wouldn’t you love to be the one who comes up with the next Lost, West Wing, Seinfield?

You’re not alone, every content provider in the world is looking for the next silver bullet. Add to that, the Fortune 500 brands who are looking for the secret blend of spices that will win them customers and the corresponding share of wallets.

Enter Affectiva, this is the first company I’ve heard of in North America who has definitively drawn a line in the sand to be experts in “consumer emotion insights” and what they are doing will either get you jazzed about the possibilities or overwhelmed that Big Brother is ever-encroaching. Market research firms have provided similar yet arguably analog versions of this.

You can read more about them and their partnership with Millward Brown and the connection to the Fortune 500s here, but in a nutshell they monitor the facial responses of viewers and develop a comprehensive understanding of attitude + emotion that in turn can lead to better, more engaging content.

Fox tapped into the the findings of psychologist Paul Eckman who found that beyond the universal six emotions that play out on our faces every day, there are micro-expressions, which point to emotions (and underlying attitudes) that are very present despite our conscious efforts to mask them. His theory is not embraced without criticism but spend a year (heck, spend a day) watching people’s faces and you will see story after story written on our facades that rarely if ever get shared through our words.

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