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Admen and computer track eyes

When you look at an ad, do your eyes focus first on the picture or the headline? Do you remember the product more than the company? Predicting consumer response to ads is crucial for advertisers, and Madison Avenue is now beginning to use a sophisticated way to do it.

Typically, ads are shown to a group of consumers who are then asked whether they would buy the product. But one innovative approach -- eye-tracking -- is getting more attention, reports Dun Business Month magazine.

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Eye-tracking involves a briefcase-sized machine that tracks the movements of an individual's eyes as he or she reads an ad or watches a TV commercial.

Eye-tracking was not originally attractive to advertisers because it involved filming the subject's face, projecting the film frame by frame, and writing down each movement. Now computers do this analysis automatically from video tape.

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