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    Platform Attention Performance: Where Your Ad Shines or Dies 

    Do you know that platform plays the biggest role in how much your creative can achieve?

    When it comes to attention as the new currency for advertising, we look up to Prof. Karen Nelson-Field and her expertise. Recently, she presented on two interesting stages – Cannes in Cairns 2023 and the ThinkPremiumDigital event. At the latter, together with advertising guru Rob Brittain, she shared findings from a world-first study that connects the metrics of attention to mental availability and business outcomes. For us, a particular point of interest in the presentation was the relationship between platform functionality and the amount of attention an ad can get.

    Curious? Let’s dive in to explore some intricate insights from the presentations at these events:

    • Active attention is advertiser gold. Active attention has a strong and significant relationship with memory retention, mental availability and brand choice. It takes just 2.5 active attention seconds to start to impact memory. 85% fail to achieve this (based on 130,000 ad views, 1150 brands surveyed). Platform functionality determines how much attention creative can achieve. According to Prof. Nelson-Field, humans get distracted and don’t look at advertising in any sustained way. This has an impact on how much reach your brand actually gets, hence your ability to grow and drive business effects.
    • Platform plays a much bigger role than you think. Prof. Nelson-Field refers to the “chicken and egg debate” started by Nielsen in 2017 using traditional reach curves as the input variable. She points out that in small print they caveat that only consumers exposed to an ad can be influenced, but here is where it goes wrong: performance of the creative is tempered by platform functionality. 

    The same creative performs worse/better in line with overall platform attention performance. Media placement dominates creative. If creative was the dominant force of attention, creative would perform equally across all platforms, but it doesn’t, as Amplified Intelligence research confirms. According to Rob Brittain, differences in creative strength are significantly amplified by media channel allocation. Both creative and media planning choices impact the overall attention levels and effectiveness of a campaign, with platform decisions being crucial when it comes to delivering effectiveness. 

    • Higher attention platforms drive stronger mental availability. Mental availability is what drives people to choose one product/service over another. This then flows into business effects as well. Relatively small differences in attention are amplified significantly by the channel choices, which then has a stronger impact on memory, which then has a stronger impact on the business. If you are interested in further insights on mental availability, revisit our previous article on this topic here
    • Fast vs. slow decay of attention. Prof. Karen Nelson-Field explains how the amount of attention a channel receives results in different levels of decay. Attention decays fast on some formats and slower on others.This has a massive impact on reach-based planning. You think you are getting 100% Attention Volume per impression.  Fast decay means getting lots of active attention seconds up early of the reach that you buy and they switch up to nothing super-fast. At the end of the view, literally no one is watching on the reach that you buy.

    With slow decay, there is still switching that happens but it’s not as much and it doesn’t go to nothing super-fast. There is as much at the front end as there is at the back end of the ad.

    These distributions have a massive impact on the reach that you buy. It’s important not only how many people see your ad but how many people see the brand in your ad, i.e. how many branded moments someone would see. Slow decay channels deliver longer amounts of attention (40%) and fast decay channels deliver only a few moments of attention (20%). 

    • Platform elasticity affects attention. Each platform has its own attention elasticity – the range of attention seconds possible under the conditions of that platform or format. Attention elasticity forms the attention opportunity for ad creative. Stronger creative will drive additional attention seconds. But the number of additional seconds will always be capped by the elasticity of the platform/format.

    Source: The Science of Attention (presentation)

    • Adjusting the reach curves. In Prof. Nelson-Field’s words, reach curves no longer do what they were designed to do. The relationship is based on 100% attention volume. But a traditional reach curve is downweighed when accounting for attention volume. The lower the volume, the more inaccurate the reach curve relationship. Due to this problem, which is systemic and present with every single format on every single platform, the SOV/SOM relationship is impacted. You might be getting less SOV than you think, but you wouldn’t know. Not all reach is created equal and adjustments should be made based on the level of attention each channel delivers.

    Source: The Science of Attention (presentation)

    Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, is a mobile media channel offering video and static content delivery to mobile subscribers. Our platform is consumer-centric and consists of verified mobile network subscribers. Endorsed by Mobile Operators, SmartAdd delivers your brand message in a powerful and non-intrusive way achieving the “all eyes on the ad” effect thanks to the platform’s effectiveness by design. We harness your audience’s undivided attention. How? By turning routine smartphone moments of peak attention into impactful viewing events. In this way, your content and brand message get noticed every single time. Reach out to us – let’s bring your advertising to a whole new level with our solution.