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The Attention Economy

Data may well be the new oil, but in the digital economy, attention is the scarcer resource.

Media used to be a rare commodity, but where our viewing and listening choices were once limited, now they are almost infinite, and this has created a new advertising scarcity - audience attention.

Today’s challenge is understanding the relative value of those metrics across channels and platforms. Does reaching a reported impression on TV deliver the same level of attention as an online impression?

The answer, of course, is that it depends. And therein lies both the problem and the opportunity.

Our planning and buying measures need to change, to reflect what we consider to be of most value to clients – a genuine opportunity to communicate with a consumer. Our aim is to define a new value system and ultimately challenge the way the industry trades, by valuing what is likely to be ‘delivered’, over what is ‘bought’.

We’re calling it The Attention Economy.

Using the latest eye-tracking technology and research panels, the Dentsu Aegis Network analysed 17,000 individual video ad exposures across three platforms: linear TV, in-feed video on social media and preroll on video platforms.

The findings are the very first step in updating how our industry measures, plans and trades media in the digital economy. Two key insights stand out:

  1. An ad that is not seen is worthless, but the way we see advertising and how that impacts effectiveness is nuanced. Also, partially seen ads are able to boost sales. Hence reducing ad-avoidance may be more important to advertisers than maximizing full-on attention.
  2. Effectiveness is closely related to how much of an ad is viewable and for how long, but other factors may be equally important. Clear branding moments, such as showing a brand's logo, increase audiences' attention.

Download the whitepaper to learn more.

Download "The Attention Economy"

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