Unilever Trial Acknowledges All Advertising Is Paying For Attention

When you think about it, all advertising is paying for attention. The problem can come when the payment is for potential exposure rather than delivered attention.

That's what makes Unilever's decision to run a month's trial with Good-Loop so interesting. Its stock brand, Knorr, will run a video ad which, if viewed for 15 seconds, will allow the viewer to click to make a donation to one of three charities -- The People's Kitchen, The Trussell Trust or Water Aid. It probable these three have been chosen because they have an obvious connection to the food and beverage industry.

The Drum explains that a selected charity will get 50% of the fee the advertiser is paying to have the video served and displayed on a site. This will obviously vary because Good-Loop, at its heart, is a programmatic video business and market rates will set the fee for the ad to run on premium publishers. The other half is split between Good-Loop and the publisher. Speaking of which, The Guardian and Good Housekeeping are mentioned as part of the top-end publishing network that is supporting the initiative.

Ultimately, the publisher is expected to earn less per view than they would usually, but one has to wonder whether people supporting a worthy cause and watching the ad for 15 seconds will mean that a lower fee brings in a higher level of revenue. Perhaps more people engaging with an ad, at a lower fee per view, will net more than a traditional spot that might be ignored by a greater proportion of people?

Good-Loop's own figures certainly claim that three in four people watch their ads for a full 15 seconds, which is higher than Facebook and more than double the level of engagement offered by YouTube.

There will be some people who look at this and think it's a little desperate to pay people to look at your ad. There will also be those saying you'll just get the so-called "coupon chasers" who will do anything to take up an offer. Of course, here at least the beneficiary is a worthy charity rather than a shopper with an extra bunch of money-off coupons.

However, anyone who is sane in advertising knows they are already paying for attention -- only this means people are more likely to engage more deeply for a longer period of time. I can't see this as anything other than a win-win.

Even if someone is just viewing to earn a charity money -- not such a bad thing in itself -- they will still be giving a brand 15 seconds to tell them something about their products or services. 

Sure, attention is paid for, but as we all know, this is the very basis of advertising --only in this example a charity gets a piece of the action. 

1 comment about "Unilever Trial Acknowledges All Advertising Is Paying For Attention".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 11, 2018 at 7:40 a.m.

    The question is how much "action" will this approach create over and above what would be attained by normal advertising practice? Probably not much----- I suspect.

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