CANNES – Consumers have a variety of ways to view video programming and listen to audio content, often at the same time as they keep their smartphones nearby while watching television. This behavior is challenging advertisers to measure not only if their advertising was seen or heard, but also if it captured the attention of the right consumers.

“It is so important for marketers to really focus on attention because it is under assault,” Doug Rozen, chief executive of dentsu Media, said in this interview with Beet.TV correspondent Tameka Kee during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. “If you ask people why they’re using ad blockers, it’s not for good reasons. It’s because the ads aren’t meaningful. They’re not relevant. There’s too many of them.”

Dentsu started measuring attention four years ago as marketers placed greater emphasis on business outcomes to their ad campaigns. It was important that ads were viewable – and that they helped to drive some kind of consumer action, including a sale.

Measuring Multisensory Experiences

There are a variety of ways to measure how consumers watch video advertising, including eye-tracking technology that helps to study where they direct their attention. As advertising becomes more multisensory — such as in immersive, computer-generated environments – measurement methods are evolving.

“As we think about attention and where it goes next, one of the fascinating areas is the audio space,” Rozen said. “How do you do eye tracking with your ears? How do you think about the methodology to understand the audio attention that we have with audio ads?”

Dentsu is working with Twitch, the livestreaming platform owned by Amazon, to understand viewer attention and engagement with live video. It also is collaborating with Snap, whose photo-sharing app Snapchat is popular with younger consumers, on measuring attention to augmented reality (AR) content. Dentsu teamed with Group Black, an organization that seeks to boost ad spending on Black-owned media outlets, to advance attention metrics.

“We have codified and build statistical models to be able to measure, which means we can now trade on attention metrics in the digital and video space,” Rozen said. “Now, what we’re looking at is: how do you take that into other channels and start to really experiment on a media mix, versus just on a channel-by-channel basis?”

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.