Strategies to Combat the Challenge of Capturing Consumer Attention
March 05, 2018
It seems as though advertising formats are shrinking as quickly as is consumer attention. The standards for video ads have gone from 30 seconds years ago to 2 seconds today, leaving advertisers concerned that their core brand messages can’t be communicated in such short intervals.
Have we finally reached a stalemate between publishers and advertisers on what constitutes a reasonable expectation for audience attention?
The Age of Aversion
Acuity research revealed that there is an attention gap when it comes to video advertising. This is identified by comparing the ‘ideal attention’ of any advertisement (i.e. the length of a video advertisement) vs. the ‘average attention’ given to the ad (i.e. amount of video watched). As you can see there is a 46% gap, which increases as video advertisements become longer:
Average Attention* Deficit for Video Ads
*Average Attention: Average attention a consumer gives to an ad (a concept we call Engaged Viewing Time, meaning the length of time spent with our ad + the number of views) indicates there is a 46% deficit in the actual engaged time a consumer spends with an advertisement and the ideal attention (amount of time we hope they’d spend with it). To learn more about our attention solutions, click here.
Source: Visible Measures Data, approximately 100 creatives and 37.7MM Views for 2015 – 2016 campaigns.
Issues related to audience aversion continue to compound as the number of Generation Z internet users grows. While they use digital media heavily, this demographic is particularly hostile to intrusive or interruptive ad formats, especially those that don’t allow them to control their digital experiences, such as non-skippable video and mobile pop-ups.
But many users also suggest they’d be willing to deploy an ad filter to avoid certain ads or ad formats based on individual preferences. In fact, 77% of respondents to a HubSpot survey agreed with the statement “I wish there were a way to ad-filter instead of ad-block completely.”
We’ve spoken about data that points to handing over more control to users when it comes to their ad experiences. There are certain formats that are simply unwelcome in the digital domain. Giving the user more control over the types of ads they see while they browse the internet also provides advertisers with an opportunity to limit consumer aversion by tailoring ad formats that are welcomed, not shunned.
However we know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model to digital advertising and most marketers agree that you cannot tell a brand story in a 2 second snap. So, what’s a brand marketer to do?
Several questions present themselves when thinking about these trends, such as:
- Is there any value in adapting to the shrinking ad format trend?
- Is it the ad creative or message that is not compelling or relevant enough to warrant attention?
- What are best practices in capturing attention today through digital advertising?
- What is pushing viewer attention to brand messages towards extinction?
- Is it possible for viewer’s to like advertising?
Join AcuityAds Chief Strategy Officer, Seraj Bharwani, at Brand Innovators Saturday on March 10 at Content Marketing during SXSW 2018 in Austin, Texas in a panel discussion that aims to answers these concerns. He will be joined by top brand marketers and agency leads in a spirited discussion on audience attention and advertising, showcasing case studies and best practices for digital advertisers.