Pay Attention Please!


What grabs our attention? What even is attention? This is a hot topic amongst our clients right now and we spent an evening with the MRG which uncovered some fascinating findings from some key players in the attention space, here’s everything you need to know! 

The Neuroscience of Attention – Shazia Ginai

  • Decision making begins in the subconscious – we are hard wired since birth which determines how we act
  • Attention is a 3-stage process: capturing attention, sustaining attention, driving impact
  • Breadth of measurement:
  • The left side of our brain is bias for detailed processing: approach (likes), verbal long-term memory, detailed general attention, detailed visual attention
  • The right side of our brain is bias for global processing: withdrawal (dislikes), emotional/holistic long-term memory, desirability, emotional intensity, global visual attention
  • Sound is important when it comes to attention:
  • Interactive radio ads vs. standard ads saw +10% uplift
  • Saying a brand name maximises attention: respondents saying a brand name v standard ad saw +30% uplift

Introduction To the Reality of Attention – Lumen – Mike Follett

  • Lumen use eye tracking to measure visual attention
  • The basics of attention:
  • Just because an ad is viewable, doesn’t mean it will get viewed. Attention is selection – we only look at things worthwhile seeing
  • We don’t need all the info to get the gist of the ad
  • Use different media differently – different media works in different ways
  • The attention funnel
  • Looks at the number of impressions that are viewed relative to those that reach the screen
  • Impressions that reach the screen -> technically viewable impressions -> % viewed -> view time -> attentive seconds per 000 impressions -> recall
  • Working with TVision:
  • 750 person TV panel in the UK
  • Combine computer vision tech with ACR, and digital device detection to report viewer engagement
  • They can measure how people watch TV (when they enter/exit a room, when they are looking at the TV screen, when they are not looking at the TV screen)

How Snap drives Attention – Kate Freed

  • 80% of gen Z’s and millennials say ‘Video on my smartphone is my lifeline to everything that is going on in the world’
  • Short-form content is more engaging than full length
  • Research with Kantar revealed gen Zs don’t need to spend as long viewing ads to correctly recall what they saw vs 40+
  • The Attention Economy:
  • Research with Dentsu found that compared to the platform average, Snapchat commercials receive 5x more attentive seconds per 000
  • Immersion:
  • Immersion is measured by tracking variations in heart rate rhythm through smartwatch devices
  • It predicts consumer action and memory with 80% accuracy

Seeing is Believing – Route – Denise Turner

  • Route provides audience measurement for 400k posters and screens in GB
  • It measures people who actually see the ads through visual attention (eye tracking)
  • Eye tracking enables them to calculate the maximum visibility distance from which OOH ads can be seen
  • Factors that affect the likelihood of someone actually seeing an ad:
  • Size of frame, time, offset, mode, distortion, illumination, movement, distance

The Attention Council – Andy Brown

  • The attention council are a non-profit membership organisation promoting the use of attention metrics
  • They are in the process of currency development

So, it is evident there are many ways of measuring attention to advertising and, in doing so, it is important to consider the different internal and external factors affecting how attentive we are.

Written by Poem Barber, Senior Media Executive, december19,