The advertising industry has realized that “device metrics,” that were proxies for attention as well as standards like viewability do not necessarily equate to a true “opportunity to see,” according to Joanne Leong, vice president of global media partnerships at dentsu international.
New findings from dentsu international research show that human attention is not the same as viewability, which is why the agency believes advertisers must plan and buy media using a new metric it calls Attention.
“Two distinctions drive attention, and things that drive the value of attention,” Leong said.
She pointed to factors contributing to a greater likelihood that someone looks at an ad for longer to explain the concept. Factors like viewable time, whether the attention was forced or earned, duration, and device.
“There are factors that contribute to the value of attention too, which basically means there are certain factors that explain why five seconds of attention in one set of circumstances translate to more recall or choice than five seconds of attention in another,” she said. “The number one driver of that value is creative.”
Dentsu’s latest research, Unlocking the Currency of Attention, details large-scale eye-tracking panels that builds on the agency’s attention metrics model. The agency worked with Lumen Research, TVision, and Amplified intelligence for independent studies, and began measuring attention in March 2018, collaborating with Facebook, Spotify, Snap, Teads, Yahoo and Broadcasters and Tech platforms
Multiple brand studies in the U.S., UK, and Australia combined eye-tracking technology with choice and recall measures to understand the drivers of attention. The research shows that higher dwell times are associated with a greater likelihood to choose a brand’s advertising, but not all attention is equal.
Turns out the difference between good creative and poor creative can impact recall by 17%. After creative, the other key drivers are volition, sound, duration, and audience.
The results shed light on several insights such as viewability and other device measures are arbitrary proxies for real attention. In many cases, the percent of viewable impressions reported are higher than the percent of ads that get attention.
Combining factors like attention, dwell time, and the outcome model with cost allowed Denstu to create a CPM based on an “effective attentive second” specific to various media circumstances. This new metric for planning captures not just attention, but the impact and value of that attention that can vary depending on the platform and media experience.
To validate the value of attention, Dentsu looked at the relationship between attention and brand recall and brand choice, and saw a pretty strong relationship across them.
“The higher the likelihood of someone looking at an ad the better the chance it has of working,” she said. “Understanding that relationship, we then built our model of attention to incorporate the effectiveness component by looking at what factors drive recall and choice so that when we plan against attention, we aren’t just skewing to longer ads with higher dwell times, but taking into account, as mentioned above, the power and value of each attentive second.”