Australia – Kantar has announced the launch of its new proprietary attention framework. Marrying Kantar’s decades of creative evaluation expertise with the latest technology, the approach uses facial coding to uncover how well advertising content captures the attention of viewers on a second-by-second basis, an essential tool in marketers’ arsenal.

Part of the expansion of Kantar’s creative testing portfolio, the new attention framework gives advertisers a summary of an ad’s ability to capture viewers’ attention, gain a comparison to norms, and access a second-by-second trace to diagnose where attention is retained and lost.

The norms and benchmarks for this new framework are built using Kantar’s expertise in measuring attention and database of 50,000 attention ad tests. The attention framework uncovers whether people pay attention to ads in different media contexts and what creative strengths drive attention, giving advertisers the insights that they need to optimise their ad to improve its ability to engage viewers. 

Said framework is available in LINK+, Kantar’s automated, self-serve or serviced solution for testing and evaluating creative; and Context Lab, Kantar’s digital media optimisation solution.

As part of the newly-launched framework, Kantar is deploying significantly improved attention measurement. The upgraded facial coding technology now includes gaze monitoring components making it more accurate. Advertisers receive measures of both active and passive attention, giving them richer and deeper understanding of how their ads will perform in context. 

Ted Prince, global chief product officer at Kantar, said, “The race for attention is one of the defining challenges of our time for modern marketers. How to capture the attention of viewers amid the myriad of distractions is something that keeps many awake at night. At Kantar, we are using the latest technology in combination with our decades of expertise to tackle these thorny questions.”

He added, “With digital ad spend continuing to rise, it is key that marketers understand how their creative will perform in digital channels. The era of repurposing a TV ad and hoping for the best is over.”

Meanwhile, Sharon Hilton, head of media at Kantar Australia, commented, Attention is a big topic of conversation in Australia as local marketers continue to grapple with ensuring that campaigns cut through.”

She added, “Our 2023 Australian Media Reactions study found that the attention economy was in the top three list of priorities for marketers in 2024 with 41% stating it was a key priority. Almost half of marketers say that attention is an important industry debate (47%) and nearly three in five said that channels where consumers pay more attention was the key factor influencing how to allocate media budget (58%).”

Lastly, Irene Joshy, head of creative at Kantar Australia, stated, “The content maze that we live in has amplified the problem of ‘selective’ attention. Selective attention impacts creative effectiveness adversely. To help marketers navigate this, the development of this new attention metric built into in-context digital testing is revolutionising the way that we measure the relationship between playback, attention and engagement to drive stronger digital ROMI.”

Singapore – Digital media measurement software platform DoubleVerify and cloud-based software for AI-powered digital marketing Scibids has announced the launch of ‘DV Algorithmic Optimizer’, an AI-powered attention solution for advertisers.

The combination of DoubleVerify’s proprietary attention signals and Scibids’ AI-powered ad decisioning enables advertisers to identify the best-performing inventory that maximises business outcomes and advertising ROI.

‘DV Algorithmic Optimizer’ combines DoubleVerify’s media quality and attention data with Scibids’ AI technology to generate optimisation algorithms customized to drive advertiser KPIs. With this, global advertisers are able to combine end-to-end granular measurement and optimisation at scale.

Daniel Slotwiner, SVP of attention at DoubleVerify, said, “The DV Algorithmic Optimizer is a significant advancement for advertisers seeking to maximize the impact of their campaigns through a focus on attention.”

He added, “By harnessing DoubleVerify’s attention measurement alongside Scibids’ AI, we are providing brands with the critical tools they need to serve ads on top-performing inventory while preserving scale and maximizing efficiency.”

Leveraging DSP impression-level data feeds first-party data and measurement data provided by the brands or their agencies, Scibids AI dynamically generates custom bidding algorithms aligned with client KPIs and desired outcomes.

Meanwhile, Remi Lemonnier, CEO & co-founder of Scibids, commented, “With its massive scale and near-real time data, digital marketing is the ideal environment for the deployment of machine learning.”

He added, “The combination of Scibids AI’s capabilities and DV’s expertise in attention measurement brings valuable new data critical to driving business results for advertisers across channels. Our partnership lets us offer mutual advertisers cutting-edge solutions that precisely and efficiently align campaign delivery with business goals through enhanced attention metrics.”

Digital advertising allows marketers to target consumers more precisely with more personalised, relevant information, in real-time, on multiple devices, and on the go. Digital advertising’s highly personalised nature should make it more relevant to audiences, but brand risks, supply path murkiness, privacy concerns, and ad fraud create barriers. 

Advertisers are looking for more transparency around targeting customers online after the deprecation of cookies. I believe there will be even more demand for scalable and privacy-friendly attention metrics beyond viewability and clicks to provide more granular insights, engagement and outcomes. Brands are focused on driving outcomes and conversion from ad spending and they’re looking for more privacy compliant and scalable solutions. 

Optimising attention drives outcomes

Our research team analysed data to understand how our partners could leverage technology to capture more significant attention to understand correlations between quality, suitability, and time-in-view. The research uncovered that viewability and time in view have a medium correlation (intuitively makes sense). Moreover, when only looking at impressions on contextually relevant pages (i.e. Toyota ad on an automotive site), the correlation becomes more vital. The practical implication of insight like this is that you can drive greater attention by targeting higher viewability rates in programmatic prebid targeting and utilising contextual targeting solutions.

For example, when we analysed the automotive vertical, we saw that when the context was relevant and optimised for viewability, there was an 8.3-second increase in time-in-view for every 10% increase in viewability rates. This was 2.4x higher than in a non-optimized context. 

Here’s a preview of what we discovered:

  • Time-in-view increases as viewability and brand safety increase
  • 57% increase in conversions for viewable and brand-safe impressions compared to non-viewable and not safe
  • 171% increase in conversions for impressions with time-in-view greater than 15 seconds

Creative, contextual, and privacy-compliant advertising 

It is essential to consider how relevant the ads are to the consumers to drive greater attention. It’s human nature to engage with information that we find interesting — whether that’s through engaging in creative or contextual relevance.

IAS research showed a 40% lift in memory of a particular ad when contextually aligned. Brands can harness the dual power of contextual targeting and high-quality placements to drive greater brand engagement. It’s also vital to acknowledge that placing ads beside low-quality content can have significant consequences, including a high risk of damaging brand reputation. To ensure online ads drive the right attention and outcome, aligning with suitable contexts must be a top priority.

As our industry prepares for a cookieless future and increasingly moves away from third party audience targeting, advertisers have a significant opportunity to be intentional with contextual tools. While many brands will focus on building and investing and first-party and second-party data, marketers will start blending this expensive and highly targeted approach with scalable advertising that can be achieved via environments that are contextually relevant, using contextual as a proxy for third party audiences.

Ultimately, a shift to contextual advertising is also good news for the industry because it aligns with the preferences of privacy-conscious consumers while achieving the brand’s goals for engagement.

This article was written by Laura Quigley, SVP for APAC at IAS.