Attention! Attention! It’s what you need to maximise engagement

Why bigger is not always better, and viewability could actually stop your ad being seen.

Grabbing attention

As the digital media world comes to grips with the deprecation of third-party cookies and the various challenges that will bring, advertisers have an opportunity to rethink how they measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns, says Caroline Hugonenc, SVP Global Insights & Research at Teads

Since the pandemic, consumers have become a lot more discerning when it comes to their ad consumption. In fact, more than 39% of consumers use ad blockers because they believe ads aren’t relevant to them, with 54% saying that ads get in the way. Advertisers have many options in order to maximise consumer engagement with their ad campaigns – it’s about working smarter, not harder.

A new metric has evolved 

There is an important metric that will drive change for advertisers. And that is attention. We are starting to shift away from viewability as the way to plan, buy and measure campaigns, to focus instead on attention metrics as the main KPI.

Recent research conducted by Dentsu International and Teads into the attention economy clearly demonstrated that attention is up to three times more effective at predicting consumer outcomes than viewability – making it a hugely important thing for advertisers to understand as quickly as possible. 

Indeed, there’s been an understanding across the media industry for some time now that relying on viewability alone is no longer good enough at showing how consumers are reacting to content on a page, and we’ve been searching for a better way to measure this for some time. The reality is that some drivers of viewability – such as the size of the format or the position on the page – can actually have a negative impact on attention levels. Moving forward, advertisers will need to shift away from viewability, and buy, plan and measure campaigns which focus on attention metrics as their main KPI.

Attention’s four key drivers

The research highlights four key drivers for attention that advertisers need to focus on to drive consumer attention:

  1. Quality of media 

It may seem obvious, but viewable time is one of the most important drivers of attention – the study reinforces this by demonstrating that video and display ads both quantifiably benefitted from quality, viewable time. This means that both publishers and advertisers can drive high user engagement with quality content – this induces a slow scroll speed and a high average time in view (even higher than instream). 

  1. Ad experience

Naturally, ads that are forced on consumers gain more attention compared to ads that are easily ignored. However, when a consumer voluntarily chooses to view an ad, it results in a significant impact on brand-lift metrics, whether they’re viewed for 2 or 20 seconds.

  1. Creative

While the importance of creativity on ad effectiveness has been well documented before, within the ‘attention economy’ framework creative came out as by far the biggest driver of how hard attention works. The difference between good creative and poor creative can impact recall by as much as 17%. 

  1. Relevance

Finally, building on previous research, the study showed that placing ads within relevant context for the reader gives an uplift of attentive seconds per 1000 of 13%

What does this mean?

As we head further into 2022, uncertainty and a collective yearning for better times will likely continue to be driving factors for brands. Planning campaigns that captivate and are measured against ‘attention’ is something the advertisers should be looking to do, and any techniques that will help drive effectiveness and ensure ads are remembered will be welcomed by the industry.

By Caroline Hugonenc

SVP Global Insights & Research


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in