Atlas Shrugs: ARF To Release One Mapping 'Attention' Suppliers

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) this morning announced it has begun “mapping the landscape” of the burgeoning advertising and media “attention measurement” marketplace.

The project -- which falls under the umbrella of the ARF’s ongoing “Attention Validation Initiative” -- will culminate in an “attention atlas” that the ARF said will “add transparent to vendors’ positioning, methods and deliverables.”

While the measurement attention paid by consumers to advertising and/or media measurement is not new, there has been something of a gold rush of new and emerging suppliers utilizing a variety of methods and models for observing, analyzing and reporting both cognitive and unconscious attention to ad-supported media in recent years.

The suppliers also have a wide variety of business models from traditional proprietary, custom and syndicated research studies to ones that are really just trojans for selling or reselling premium media inventory the researchers identify as having higher attention value.



“Attention is one of, if not the most, critical component of the ARF Model of Advertising Effectiveness, but it is also one which has not been empirically studied,” ARF CEO and President Scott McDonald said in a statement announcing the atlas, adding: “As new attention measurement services come to market, the industry has been asking us to help them gain transparency into the validity, reliability and predictive power of these measures. This Atlas will be the first step in helping marketers make more informed decisions around choosing a method and supplier– clearly outlining the solutions’ rightful application to advertising and media evaluation.”

The initiative comes about a decade after the ARF made a similar commitment to mapping and organizing the then-promising field of neuromarketing research -- measurement techniques utilizing biometrics, eye-tracking and other technologies capable of analyzing physiological attention paid to advertising and media.

Many of the new attention-measurement suppliers likely to be mapped by the ARF utilize some of those technologies and techniques, while others utilize meta data from the ad-serving process itself, or combinations thereof.

The ARF said it will release a “preliminary mapping” of the atlas during its annual audience measurement conference to be held April 25-26.

1 comment about "Atlas Shrugs: ARF To Release One Mapping 'Attention' Suppliers".
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  1. Joel Rubinson from Rubinson Partners, Inc., March 22, 2023 at 12:51 p.m.

    having been in on the ARF conference calls on the 'new media model' i am fearful that the old school assumption  that attention is the property and outcome of the creative will be reinforced. the implication of the work  I have been involved with is that an indiidual's propensity to pay attention is more a reflection of their interest in that brand and proximity to shopping. i hope the ARF verifies if each provider uses a 'propensiy to pay attention'  factor in their model or this will perpetuate a mis-understanding of attenion. 

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