Attention please! Why video campaigns have to detach themselves from common analyzes

Brands have to design their video ads insistently in order to be noticed at all. What an effective ad looks like and why the attention economy is the be-all and end-all when it comes to advertising.

Nowadays, consumers can increasingly choose whether and when to expose themselves to online advertising. With up to 13,000 advertising contacts every day, they do the same. Ad blockers and skip buttons give them the opportunity to make advertising spots disappear. According to the Dentsu Aegis Global Attention Economy study, no more than a third of the advertising content receives the full attention of its target group at all.

Companies have to rethink and adapt. Small snippets in the feed can be viewed quickly and are easy to digest. For brands, this is the task of letting users pause as they scroll and gain their attention. That this has not worked really well so far is not only due to the content itself. The way in which it is analyzed also influences what counts as a successful commercial.

The focus is on the wrong metrics

The problem is often that the leading metrics for commercial success are still limited to visibility and reach. The question of the success of advertising should primarily include the aspect of attention. If you follow the guidelines of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council (MRC), an advertising sport is “viewable” if at least 50 percent of the video is in the viewer’s field of view for at least two seconds. Where the spot is positioned on the screen is irrelevant. However, that does not mean more than this: In theory, the spot could have been considered – but was the target group really seeing it? In addition, the indicators of visibility and reach are compared across channels, although impressions should be subject to different ratings depending on the respective device. An impression on TV works differently than an online impression. Accordingly, specific KPIs should be assigned to individual platforms. Media agencies and research institutes, however, stick to the tried and tested, important key figures such as tracking ad avoidance, i.e. actively avoiding advertising through ad blocking, skipping spots, etc., are ignored. These key figures are particularly important for companies because this is the only way to prevent ad spending in advertising that is not really seen.

is measurable

If you want to make a statement about the quality rather than just the quantity of advertising contacts between user and brand, you have to pay attention to another key figure. Attention is the new currency, measured with so-called attention metrics. These are additional KPIs that can validate and supplement classic metrics such as reach, the Gross Rating Point (GRP) or the Opportunity To See (OTS). Specifically, this means: If, for example, two advertising spots have the same number of GRPs, the attention metrics can make it clear which of the two spots performed better because it generated more attention from the target group.

For measuring branding campaigns, for example, the metrics Cost per Minute Watched (CPMW) is particularly suitable because it can be used to calculate how much money a customer pays for a minute of brand contact time with the target group. The costs are divided by the number of seconds viewed by the consumer on average and then multiplied by a factor of 60. The longer the consumer deals with the advertising content, the further the value decreases. The metric makes it possible to break down which video has achieved the best CPMW in terms of device properties, time of day and age group. If the watch time of content is particularly long, its rating in the Google ranking also increases.

In addition to the watch time, the analysis of the drop-out rates is also important. Combined with the current eye tracking study results from Google, IAB, IPOS or Nielsen, the so-called Cost per Minute Attention (CPMA) can be measured. It not only provides information on how long an ad is played, but also how much of the ad is in the consumer’s field of vision. The calculation is very similar to that of the CPMW: The costs are again divided by the number of seconds viewed by the consumer on average, but this time multiplied by the Attention on Ad. In this case too, the result is multiplied by a factor of 60.

Effective through key features

According to studies, the attention span of users is less than nine seconds – if you want to convince, you have to either keep your message extremely short, or design it so that it captivates the user for longer. How can commercials deserve the attention of the target group? These five attributes can have a lasting impact on advertising effectiveness:

  1. humor
  2. ID
  3. connection
  4. understanding
  5. Emotions

The more of it the spot contains, the more attention-grabbing and successful it is. It’s worth taking a look at the recent viral ads – they all combine these drivers. But how can brands keep the target audience’s attention beyond a one hit wonder? Campaign goals, target group and platform should be set before the start of the creation and planned accordingly. Instead of scoring with a single spot, it often makes more sense to tell different versions of a story – tailored to the platforms in question. Because the variation of story arch, cutting speed, grading and title make a significant difference from channel to channel.

The insights show that the highest possible visibility and range of videos should not be the only focus. The question of the effectiveness of certain commercials for the relevant target group must also include the aspect of attention. Because how long a user has really consumed advertising content is just as important – if not more important – than the distribution of a video. Brands should no longer be misled by a focus on the wrong metrics, but instead put quality over quantity.

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