Beyond viewability: The role of attention in creative effectiveness

Grabbing attention is the first step to advertising effectiveness, especially in the digital space. Since creative quality is one of the biggest determinants of how much attention you’ll receive, it is critical to comprehensively measure attention during the creative development process.

Attention matters because it is closely related to memory. What goes unnoticed will not be remembered, so brands need to compete to have a place in consumers’ mental space. Recognising this pivotal role, the advertising industry is increasingly focusing on capturing and retaining attention. This emphasis on attention is also driven by recent factors such as restrictions on cookie-based targeting, and the evolving understanding of attention measurement beyond just click and views.

W. James claimed in 1890 that ‘Everyone knows what attention is‘, but it is now acknowledged to be a more complex phenomenon with no single, widely accepted scientific definition.  Kantar’s preferred definition is relatively simple but comprehensive approach of Standford’s Knudsen – which is via four fundamental processes: working memory, top-down sensitivity control, automatic bottom-up filtering for salient stimuli, and competitive selection.

This article was published exclusively on on November 21, 2023.