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How you can get consumers to look at your digital ads

Scarcity of attention over the years has been particularly noticeable in the context of digital advertising, where the overabundance of advertising has contributed to two major trends in the industry: low viewability numbers and even lower attention paid to display advertising.

Currently, only 12% of served digital ads are ever seen and only 4% are looked at for one second or more. A recent report by Inskin Media and Lumen.said that for consumers, there is a direct link between the length of visual attention paid to digital advertising, and brand recall. About 50% of users able to recall the advertised brand after one to two seconds of visual engagement time. This is in comparison to the 35% after zero to one seconds, “emphasising” the importance of visual engagement beyond one second.

As such, it derived that:

Consumers pay more attention to digital campaigns which are creatively consistent.

According to the company, standard ad formats are said to  have a greater visual attraction and attention when it is creatively similar to other digital formats within the campaign. The report further added that traditional “matching luggage” approach to creative execution is key to maximising the impact of a brand’s ad spend. As such, high-impact formats garnered 15 times more attention than standard display formats.

Eye tracking agency Lumen estimates that for every 1,000 served display ad impressions, users pay only about 2.6 minutes of aggregated attention (or 0.16seconds per ad), a result of both poor viewability and low seen rates.

Dominic Tillson, head of insight, Inskin Media said that the report identified that the duration of visual attention paid to an ad has a direct impact on its performance. But, he added that it is not clear whether creative consistency or inconsistency across different formats also affected attention levels.

“These insights show that a focus on creative cohesion throughout the planning process will help ensure the best chance of campaign success. This is particularly pertinent for display advertising, as finding ways to increase the attention potential of standard ads, especially through optimisation methods that don’t require increased budgets, could help lift both short- and long-term profitability of digital ad spends,” Tillson said.

One of the key challenges remains the weak cut-through potential of standard display advertising formats such as MPUs or Skyscrapers.  Attention levels for Mid page Units (MPUs) shown after a high-impact format were amplified. The attention levels for MPUs were 27% more likely to be looked at, looked at for 39% longer and were 140% more likely to have an impact, such as driving brand metrics and conversions. This is in comparison to MPUs shown after another identical MPU. This amplification effect was “much more significant” when the creative style of the high-impact format and MPU was the same.


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