Attention in Advertising 2023

Attention in Advertising Cover

The global digital advertising industry is undoubtedly going through its most significant shift in decades. Legislative efforts to bolster user privacy and the deprecation of identifiers in desktop and mobile environments have significantly impacted the effectiveness of third-party cookies, which previously underpinned user-level targeting, the linchpin of performance-based digital advertising.

This fundamental transition in the sector away from third-party cookie-based identifiers, coupled with current economic headwinds, has heightened interest in alternative definitive metrics to measure and optimise advertising performance, while maintaining consumer privacy.

Of these alternative metrics, attention is generating substantial interest across the supply chain. Defined in its most basic form as the time a consumer spends looking at or listening to an ad, media buyers and publishers alike are honing in on attention, given that capturing consumer attention effectively has been strongly associated with driving real-world outcomes.

However, while the theoretical benefits of attention as an advertising metric are well understood, it is less clear how media buyers are capitalising upon this on a practical basis today. JF Cote, CEO of Sharethrough explains why they partnered with ExchangeWire to study attention: 

"Capturing attention has and always will be the key for advertising effectiveness. However, as attention becomes more fragmented, consumers have more control and ability to skip or simply not pay attention to ads. Advertisers are having a harder and harder time earning attention. That's why at Sharethrough, we've been studying consumer attention for over a decade to learn what simple but effective ways technology can help enhance CTV, video, display and native ads to improve attention and, therefore, advertiser outcomes. 

“We decided to partner with ExchangeWire to assess how media buyers across brands and agencies within the UK are capturing attention, what factors are impacting attention most heavily in their opinion, and whether further training and industry standards are required within the market. Moreover, we assess the performance of specific ad enhancements offered by Sharethrough in capturing attention among media buyers. Combining original quantitative data with insight from industry thought leaders, this study examines the following:

  • “Use of attention metrics by UK media buyers
  • Respondent willingness to pay more for ads that better attract attention
  • Factors impacting consumer attention
  • How media buyers are currently capturing attention
  • Industry standards and education around attention
  • Performance of Sharethrough ad enhancements in capturing attention”
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