“Unviewable ads are, as former Unilever CMO Keith Weed so brilliantly put it, like having your billboards underwater. A complete waste of money”, marketing guru Mark Ritson reminded us recently. We couldn’t agree more.
According to research from Professor Karen Nelson-Field, it takes more than two seconds of attention to have any lasting impact on memory. Every second over three adds three days to how long a brand lasts in a person’s memory.
In view of the above, what step should you take with your content strategy to close the gap between viewable and actually viewed by the target audience? Which media channels actually ensure attention and viewability? Check out some key insights on the subject so you can uplevel your brand and empower your campaigns:
- Going all-in on attention. Attention measurement has been a game changer presenting a massive opportunity for brands to study and increase engagement. Brands find advertising success on high-attention media. But researchers warn, the wrong media channel can set ads on a course to fail. Therefore, marketers must consider media channel selection carefully to capture audience attention, a new report has found.
Furthermore, an ad exposure, or impression, may or may not have had even a nanosecond of consideration by a viewer or user, but as an industry audience currency it’s assumed good enough as a quantitative measure. The rapidly emerging field of attention measurement attempts to add a qualitative layer addressing how attentive people are to ads rather than a simple “opportunity to see” (OTS). Some are also linking levels of consumer ad exposure to business results. According to Liana Dubois , Nine, Director of Powered, everyone needs to understand that better attention delivers better business results. She adds: “If you are buying dirt cheap reach on platforms with little to no effective attention, you are likely wasting your money or that of your clients. Stacking hamsters doesn’t make a giraffe.”
- Active vs. passive attention. A study conducted by Nine together with attention research company Amplified Intelligence measured three different types of attention: active attention (eyes on screen); passive attention (in proximity but eyes not on screen) and non-attention (not in proximity of the screen). The study was conducted in 200 households, with a camera placed beneath their televisions and phone cameras accessed to measure 9Now. Nine’s study showed most active attention was paid on 9Now on mobile phones, at 11.0 seconds per 15-second ad and 21.1 seconds per 30-second ad. That’s an average of 72% “active seconds to ad length. On 9Now on CTV, that figure was 8.1 for 15, and 15.6 for 30 – 53 per cent active attention to ad length. On Linear TV, the equivalent figure was 40 per cent – 6.2 seconds for a 15-second spot and 11 seconds for a 30-second spot.
- One-to-one type of experience. The results of the above study confirmed that the mobile provided a one-to-one type of experience – something that explains the difference in percentages between Mobile, CTV and Linear. “It’s quite personal. I’ve chosen the content I want to watch,” Jonathan Fox, Nine’s Director of Effectiveness, confirms. Bearing this in mind, it can be expected in the future that attention becomes a tradeable metric because it would mean content that people actually engage with is rewarded.
- Not all attention seconds are equal. What if the data reveals that all eyes are on the screen but focused on… the skip button? “[YouTube’s] attention data incorporates that attention to the skip button. I would be really interested to know what the numbers look like if you were able to strip out the eyes on attention to that skip button”, says Jonathan Fox. His own experience on YouTube is that he is waiting for the ability to skip the ad. “I really can’t absorb much around the advertising that’s on at that time,” he admits adding that to really access long term memory, that should be the goal of most campaigns and most brands, and that should be valued accordingly.
The situation with attention on social media is even more complicated. Research by Dr. Duane Varan from MediaScience, shared by ThinkPremiumDigital, found it took five hours of in-feed social video to achieve one minute of ad attention. In contrast, it took just 12 minutes of premium video, meaning the likes of Facebook and Instagram, while used for many hours, delivered poor attention.
- It’s platform first. A key element in this discussion is the degree to which creative impacts attention. Is good creative or the platform the driver? According to Liana Dubois from Nine, “it is absolutely platform first. Platform is absolutely your opportunity to be paid attention to. But creative is your opportunity to hold it”. She adds that the best creative in the world cannot fight the good fight against a platform that does not garner any or enough attention to the advertising that’s placed on it. Similarly, according to Professor Karen Nelson-Field, whose opinion on the subject we have previously presented here, it is the functionality of the platform, as well as the format, that defines how much attention your creative can achieve and the creative has to work within these boundaries.
- Attention in combination with reach. According to a Mediaweek article, attention metrics need to be viewed in the context of scale and reach. A media channel’s viewing opportunity provides a sharper and more accurate assessment of the effectiveness of the inventory summed up with the following formula:
|Reach x viewing opportunity x attention paid = platform effectiveness|
For example, a platform like Facebook on mobile gets plenty of reach and reasonable levels of attention paid once an ad is available to be viewed. But when your thumbs travel the equivalent of two marathons a year scrolling through stories from friends at high speed, it creates little opportunity for attention to be paid.
Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, has developed an innovative high-attention mobile media channel for video and static content delivery endorsed by Mobile Operators. It displays ads and content curated for various target audiences to enjoy at a particular time on the mobile’s screen. What distinguishes us is the human-centric approach ensuring audience’s undivided attention. We offer advertisers a highly engaging platform to bring their message front and centre, and provide users with an unparalleled one-to-one type of experience. Your brand gets noticed by real humans – 100% verified mobile subscribers – who view and engage exclusively with your content at predefined moments of peak attention. Reach out to learn more about our solution and amplify your product marketing strategy.