We’re in the early stages of the attention revolution, though now is the time to board the train! In a Realeyes March 2022 survey of 325 senior advertising leaders, 90% agree that attention is important to their business and 67% agree that attention will become a currency within three years.

Why Attention? It’s Good Business

Sales, revenue and customer LTV are an advertiser’s North Star. Advertisers often put a premium on performance advertising because of the immediate link to sales and conversions. However, performance advertising alone is not a solution for sustainable growth. Few brands can survive by connecting only with consumers they already know, and their intent.

Brand advertisers conduct studies to prove links between campaigns and latent sales. They are valuable, though typically rear-view insights. They take weeks, even many months, so they’re not useful for agile decision-making. Similarly, in-flight brand lift studies can be insightful, though they seldom correlate with sales.

“You get what you measure,” posted Danilo Tauro, former global director of media, technology and data at P&G, now at Amazon. It's a double-edged sword to focus on the wrong KPIs. Proxies like return on ad spend (ROAS) across different platforms are challenging because attribution windows differ. Viewable costs per impressions (CPMs) are incompatible because the real estate of ad formats varies.

Attention: A New Framework for the Modern Advertising World

Advertising works according to laws of attention. Media attention is receiving the spotlight, though creative has the highest stakes. A 2017 study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions determined that creative is responsible for 47% of sales impact, followed by media at 38%, and the brand at 15%. This is among the most conservative estimates of creative by the top measurement firms. An advertiser can have precision audience and ad viewability, though that means little if creative attention is weak.

“We look at it as a ladder,” Sorin Patilinet, global consumer marketing insights director at Mars, Inc., and speaker at ATTENTION@MAD//Fest, told The Drum. “The first need is attention because we know that attention is declining. Once you have gotten that attention, you can then start eliciting emotions. We’ve proven that by building emotions, you can encode your distinctive assets into the consumer’s brain much, much better. And then [those assets] can be recalled.”

Applying learnings from Mars and over 200 other brands and publishers, including analysis of over 40,000 videos and millions of participant views, we developed the “attentive reach” advertising model. It employs Attention AI and computer vision to passively measure the propensity of an advertising creative to drive impact with an audience in market. It uses psychology and advertising theory that asserts that an advertiser must first capture and sustain attention to then encode an emotional brand message in the mind of a consumer.

The model is becoming important pre-flight, because it predicts the net quantity of quality exposures. Such scores are increasingly used by advertisers to estimate the effective cost of nominal CPMs based on creative efficiency.

Advertisers that lean into attention metrics now are gaining an unfair competitive advantage. Advertisers who disregard attention risk bearing responsibility for advertising malpractice.

Max Kalehoff will be speaking on the ATTENTION@MAD//Fest stage which takes place at MAD//Fest on 5, 6, and 7 July at The Old Truman Brewery

Over 7,000 brands and agencies are expected to attend MAD//Fest London 2022, 3,000 more than 2021 when MAD//Fest was the only UK industry festival to take place in physical form. In addition to access to the ATTENTION@MAD//Fest stage you'll also be able to hear from Rachel Waller, Global VP Innovation, Burberry; Cristina Diezhandino, Global CMO, Diageo; Tina Koehler, Global VP Marketing, Deliveroo; James Brown, MD, BrewDog; and Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder & CEO, S4 Capital.

Earlybird tickets are available here.