Dentsu Deploys 'Attention Metrics,' Begins Transacting On It

Dentsu International has quietly begun to integrate so-called attention metrics into both its media planning and buying systems and has begun transacting media buys based on it, the agency’s Chief Investment Officer disclosed during an Advertising Research Foundation panel discussion on Wednesday.

“Yes, we’ve tested. Yes, we’ve seen the results -- but now we’re actually planning, optimizing and buying against it,” Cara Lewis said during the panel discussing the role of attention metrics during the ARF’s Audiencexscience conference.

Lewis said the deployment follows “three-plus years” of testing attention metrics from more than a dozen suppliers “across different platforms and devices.”

She said the agency has already integrated the data into “a tool that we plan against,” and has been working with clients on a “brand-by-brand basis” to deploy it into actual media buys.



She said the tool enables Dentsu to plan both “incremental [audience] reach” as well as “attentive [audience] reach” for various media options.

While she did not disclose the names of specific media suppliers that Dentsu has begun making attention-based media buys with, she said the agency is “actually transacting against it” in “the linear space.”

She specifically singled out out-of-home media suppliers and said Dentsu is working with them to figure out “how do we push attention in out-of-home?”

The disclosure came during a panel discussion featuring a data presentation from a Meta research executive showing the company’s studies on attention across different Facebook formats and user devices.

The panel also featured OMD Global Chief Strategy Officer Christina Hanson, who said her agency is also actively testing, developing and leaning into the deployment of various attention metrics.

3 comments about "Dentsu Deploys 'Attention Metrics,' Begins Transacting On It".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 14, 2022 at 11:50 a.m.

    While I'm a big proponent of attentiveness metrics for just about everything---evaluation of advertising impact, casting commercials and prograaams, detailed studies of audience interest, media planning, media buying, etc. It seems to me that it is particularly relevant for digital media placements. I wonder, however, what percent of dentsu's national TV ad dollars are being negotiated  using attentiveness-based audience tonnage guarantees?Program type planning, yes; daypart mixes, maybe;  but actual TV time buys---?

  2. Cliff Foyster from Dionysian Media, April 14, 2022 at 2:21 p.m.

    As a subset of out-of-home, we have found that place-based media can have highly attentive audiences sepending on the environment.  locations where there is queuing numbers displayed on a screen can provide recall rates as high as 46%.  The Motor Vehicle Network viewed in state DMV waiting rooms is a great example:

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, April 14, 2022 at 6:25 p.m.

    Very interesting Cliff.

    I'd be interested in knowing the wording of the question(s) that the respondents were asked, particularly for 'recall rates', and 'attentiveness'.   Such 'metrics' don't measure 'response' or 'effectiveness', but clearly they are input factors.

    For example a recent appointment I had meant I spent around 45 minutes in the waiting room.   The rotation was aroud 3 minutes meaning i saw the same content on average 15 times.   Did I recall them - yes.   Was I attentive - decreasingly so to the point of boredom.   Effectiveness - nil (and in fact probably negatively).  

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