In Focus: Not All Attention is Created Equal

In Focus is an Effectv video series exploring the most relevant topics in multiscreen TV advertising with insights and discussion, attempting to answer the question: what are the key areas of focus for advertisers today?

This episode is titled Not All Attention is Created Equal and deals with the topic of attention, its role in advertising effectiveness and discussing TV’s ability to be captivating and memorable. Joining Travis Flood, Head of Customer Insights at Comcast Advertising is Dr. Karen Nelson-Field, founder & CEO of Amplified Intelligence, a global thought leader in attention.

Effectv recently published some research called TV Makes Memories about the attention that the TV viewing experience can garner and how that can help drive better brand recall and purchase intent for advertisers. For example, when the TV environment was compared to a feed-based digital mobile environment, attention levels were 2.3 times higher.

Karen provides her perspective on how important the channel and screen is and how the TV experience in particular holds attention levels over a longer period of time than other digital channels. This attention “decay” is much less prevalent with “pretty much as many people watching in the first second as there are in the last second of advertising in tv.”

The discussion touches on messaging and how marketers convey both their branding moments for memory as well as important information about their offering to drive action. With attention diminishing after the first few seconds in digital environments and their shorter ad formats, it is important to think about how your creative and message is constructed.

As Karen says, “Some ads might be able to drive you to a sale in two and a half seconds, but then there are others that you need a story, a unique selling proposition, distribution information and pricing information…so that’s pretty hard to do in a fairly small amount of time.”

She goes on to say that relevance plays a part and TV’s ability to deliver messaging throughout the marketing funnel: “If you actually need that brand right now, you are more likely to pay attention. So there are some different nuances, but the fortunate thing about the platform that you represent is that you’ve got that time, and it accounts for anyone in any part of the funnel, any brands, whether new, old, emerging.”

In terms of where advertisers should focus their (forgive the pun) attention today, Karen shares that you have to start at the beginning and make sure you get your plan right. Optimizing for attention across your media investment plan is essential: “The most efficiency happens at the buying end, when you build out your reach curves…but the lack of attention is not accounted for, so it’s never going to hit the brief. So that’s what I would suggest to advertisers: start there.”