CANNES — Supermarket chain Kroger is readying to pilot a brand new way to measure the performance of its ads across Facebook and Google, after agreeing on a test with media agency group Dentsu.

The retailer will begin measuring the “attention” consumers give its ads, based on work Dentsu has been doing over the last few years.

In this video interview with Tameka Kee for Beet.TV, Kay Vizon, Director, Media Services, Kroger explains the scheme.

Rise of attention

Across the digital ad world, “attention” is rising as a potential metric, even a currency, to fit the new working reality.

“The eye tracking potential of this, I think, is so strong,” Vizon says. “Right now we have viewability as a metric and that’s really not telling us anything.

“Attention, to us, is a super-interesting marketing metric. We just find, (with) traditional media metrics, that it doesn’t really mean much to our business …

“Attention, if we could get it right and measure it right, might actually help us lead to better business outcomes.”

From viewability to attention

Whilst “viewability” aims to quantify the theoretical extent to which ad inventory in a given place could be given attention, “attention” tracking aims to measure exactly how long eyes linger on a given spot.

One tech vendor claims only 18% of “viewable” digital ads actually get noticed.

What is attention-based advertising?

Now “attention” could become its own currency, too.

Dentsu has been publishing reports on the Attention Economy and has worked with eye-tracking company Lumen to develop its own currency, EACPM, effective attention cost per thousand.

Other currencies are being mooted, too, including Attention Units (AUs) and ePMs (attentive seconds per thousand).

What Is Attention Worth? Dentsu’s Rozen Cracks The Code With EACPM

Change the buying system

“Dentsu is doing some really great work around this area,” Vizon says. “They’ve been doing it for about four years. (We are) super-interested to pilot with them and understand, ‘What can we actually measure, what does it look like and can we actually connect it to the metrics that matter to us?’

“We are going to pilot with Meta, we are going to pilot it programmatically through Google. We’ll be doing that here in the back half of this year, and really can’t wait to get into it. It’s our existing activations – we are just going to layer this on top so it’s a rather easy way to dip our toe into it.”

Although this is an emerging and complex area, Vizon says she “trusts” that eye-tracking vendors like Lumen and TVision have the nous to report on what’s working.

She says: “If we get these metrics and it gives us insights as to what part of the creative is really resonating with them … if we can measure that over time, but then, even further, actually change the way media is bought and sold using attention based metrics, tying it to CPM, that would be super-powerful.

You are watching ‘Attention Matters: New Ways to Build Community & Drive Engagement’, a Beet.TV Leadership Summit at Cannes Lions 2022, presented by WMX in partnership with dentsu.

For more videos from this series, please visit this page.

Beet.TV is an official partner of Cannes Lions.