NCM Takes Historic Step To Bring Attention Metrics To Cinema Ads

National CineMedia (NCM), the largest cinema advertising platform in the U.S., will announce a deal with Adelaide to bring attention transaction metrics to the cinema advertising industry.

Historically, cinema has been impression-based advertising, and advertisers did not have a way to determine who paid attention to an ad. 

Through the Adelaide partnership, marketers can now analyze cinema alongside other media as they plan their campaigns and media buys based on value and the attention-based quality of those ad impressions.

“Digital media made this level of flexibility possible,” says Mike Rosen, CRO at NCM, referring to attention metrics and measurement. “Experts estimate that the average consumer is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day. So, it’s through measuring attention that we get to the heart of the true relative value.”

Proving the value of attention, NCM conducted an in-theater eye-tracking attention study supported by Lumen in the fourth quarter of 2022.

About 151 respondents opted in to participate across six screens. Infrared tracking cameras were used to follow viewing habits through eye movements. The study tracked attention rather than exposure to the ad.

The study’s findings allowed marketers to compare attention metrics across digital media such as streaming, online video, and social.

"We could tell that while the commercials played, the participants had their eyes on the screen,” he said.  “We found 97% of the people in the movie theater had their eyes glued to the screen during the 30-second commercials being tested.”

The study also measured the length of attention for each ad. In the case of the 30-second ad, attention measurement averaged nearly 22 seconds.

This compares with streaming or linear television using similar technology, where between 35% and 38% of viewers had their eyes on screens at home. The length of time that respondents watched streaming or linear television ranged between 11 seconds and 13 seconds.

NCM in March 2022 launched one of the largest data-driven technology platforms for moviegoers, calling it NCMx. The data, insights, and analytics platform uses the company’s knowledge and extensive data about moviegoers’ behavior to connect brands with custom audiences in theaters.

“It allowed us to prove that ads running in the cinema are effective in building brands and driving metrics up and down the funnel,” he said.

Adelaide’s attention unit (AU) is a metric that measures a placement’s probability of attention and its subsequent impact. It is generated by a machine-learning algorithm trained to determine full-funnel outcomes from awareness to sales.

“We will use data from NCM -- variables like time of day, movie genre and ad position,” she said. “Then our machine-learning models that generate AU will combine that exposure data with eye-tracking and outcome data,” said Kaitlin Nizolek, head of marketing at Adelaide.

This past year, Adelaide conducted an analysis of nearly 40 case studies demonstrating how AU has helped advertisers achieve an average of 31% upper-funnel lift and 56% lower-funnel lift compared with traditional metrics.

Since 2020, Adelaide has worked with dozens of brands, including Microsoft, NBA, Coca-Cola Company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Audi and is the preferred attention-measurement partner of several major media agencies like Mediahub and Publicis.

2 comments about "NCM Takes Historic Step To Bring Attention Metrics To Cinema Ads".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 20, 2023 at 11:52 a.m.

    There's that absurd 10,000 ads exposed per person per day figure again---by the "excperts". Sigh!

    Aside from that it makes perfect sense for the folks at NCM to cite attention metrics in their sales pitch as their commercial attention levels are far higher than other forms of TV. However attentiveness is not an integral part of the media plans of most TV advertisers---though it should be---and they do not routinely discount huge numbers of empty room or not- looking- at- the- screen "TV impressions"---as they should. Nor will attentiveness be a standard part of any new national TV rating service---the sellers have seen to that. So in this case it will be merely a  useful sales tool for the NCM sales force---as it should be----and I wish them luck in promoting it.

  2. T Bo from Wordpress, June 20, 2023 at 2:38 p.m.

    Dwindling audience, eh?

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