Video Essentials

Pay Attention: Can Marketers Be Sure Consumers Are Watching?

Improved targeting can put the right ad in front of the right viewer at the right time, but is there any way to tell if the consumer is actually watching? In a report on attention, ad tech company Acuity offers helpful advice to improve results.

AttentionThe common wisdom for video marketers is that consumers will pay more attention to shorter ads. If they see an ad break will be quick, they’re less likely to turn away or check their phone. Acuity finds that 70 percent of the marketers it surveyed say short-form videos have a better chance of being watched to completion.

In its own research using ads that can be skipped midway through, Acuity finds viewer attention holds at about 50 percent for ads up to a minute, but after that viewers pay less attention.

That would seem to settle the question: Viewers turn away from long-form ads, so they’re not worth paying for. But that’s not the only metric that matters. Acuity also finds that longer ads are also more effective. Looking at video creatives for 180 brands, the company finds ad effectiveness is highly correlated with length. For example, short-form ads led to an 11 percent brand lift, long ads led to a 15 percent lift, and extended ads led to a 20 percent lift.

The longer viewers watch an ad, the more effective the ad will be. Long ads deliver strong results even if most of the viewing audience has turned away.

“Everything in digital media is secondary to driving attention. As an industry, we need to better understand the factors impacting our ability to do this,” says Alex Panousis, president of Havas Media Canada. “The use of data and technology put part of the equation within advertiser control, so they can achieve a critical competitive advantage in today’s crowded media environment.”

For more, download Acuity’s report for free (registration required).


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