Adelaide and RealEyes Tackle Attention Together

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My first article about Adelaide was titled "Predicting Attention Is Worth More Than Measuring Attention." In it, I made the point that Adelaide exists to maximize attention by making timely inputs to media selection before the fact, leaving others such as RealEyes to measure after the fact that the attention outcome was achieved. I also drew the distinction that companies measuring attention tended to concentrate on the creative, whereas Adelaide focused on the media context contribution to attaining attention. Marc Guldimann, the founder CEO of Adelaide, characterizes this dichotomy as "attention as an input" versus "attention as an outcome."

Marc once told me that Adelaide would one day seek to cover both creative and media. I applauded that, because media and creative are abstractions, but in reality they are both parts of the consumer experience. "One day" has now come: The two companies, Adelaide and RealEyes, will now collaborate, share data and clients, insights and theoretical thinking in order to best serve the media/advertising industry. At some point, they will integrate their dashboards.

At the outset this will equip Adelaide with in-market data about creative which has been collected by thousands of RealEyes tests. Adelaide will be able to correlate attention with specific creative attributes. In a conversation with Marc and RealEyes' Max Kalehoff, the two shared many hypotheses they are already beginning to investigate.

One dimension is the branding. Some ads defer brand appearance while others show the brand at the outset. Will the two different types of ads benefit from the same media contexts, or will each deserve different settings in the Adelaide attention optimizer? Will display ads with prominent branding be able to work in smaller, less expensive ad units?

Max made the comment that the data suggest the weaker the creative, the more frequency is needed; this also implies that perhaps the weaker the creative, the more attention is needed to be conferred by the media environment.

Marc added that the more nuanced messages might require more attention-producing media environments, and that ads that are heavily audio dependent may require more audibility from the media context. He theorized that too shallow an understanding of attention could skew buys to people who are already aware of the brand. Marc's work with the ANA offers a more comprehensive view of the attention process, from capturing initial attention, maintaining it and then translating it into persuasion.

Max has coined the term "attentive reach" to denote the number and percentage of the target that has been reached by attentive impressions. This jibes well with the ARF model which defines attentiveness as the next step above an impression itself -- the impression being only an opportunity to see/hear, not the fact of seeing/hearing, which is where attention comes in, the first measurable outcome effect. In the ARF model the further outcome steps are communication, persuasion and ad response/sales effect.

We agreed that the work my company RMT is doing in selecting audiences and contexts based upon psychological congruence with the ad creative is a complementary strategy and does not replace the use of attention as an input, nor is it replaced by the use of attention as an input to the media selection process. The maximum bang for the buck comes from the use of both science approaches together to amplify the positive impact of the ad experience.

We spoke with Mike Bregman, Havas CDO, who leads a team of data scientists and engineers, and a practice which transcends the role of media agency and morphs Havas into a data broker for its clients. Mike comes out of consulting both at Accenture and at IRI. Here's how our conversation went.

Bill: Mike, can you share the kind of work you've been doing with Adelaide?

Mike: Several of our clients have tested it and it has become part of their regular toolkit. We continue to bring Adelaide to our other clients. Our results have been double-digit increases not only in upper funnel measures but also in conversions. One financial service client saw +15pp lift in unaided awareness and +152% lift in new money flows for top quartile placements. Our clients' data scientists and our own collaborated with Adelaide to help customize their technology for each client's business. With Adelaide we are getting more quality impressions, that create real interest with consumers. For one of our over-the-counter healthcare brands, we are continuing to push and evolve their measurement standards by including AUs into their statistical tools, including Marketing Mix Modeling, to identify the impact of media quality more precisely in ROI estimation.

Bill: Have you used Adelaide for video yet?

Mike: Yes, across clients we are measuring attention as part of our one video strategy covering OLV, CTV and linear TV. We're currently participating in a Linear TV test for a major over-the-counter (OTC) brand. It has provided validation for the use of premium inventory and deeper insight on the quality of networks, dayparts, etc.

Bill: Has this changed the way brands think?

Mike: Yes. They are not so interested in the lowest possible CPM anymore. They are quite willing to pay sometimes 2x standard, off-the-shelf inventory pricing for custom display partnerships and the marketplace for CTV continues to almost exponentially increase in pricing to accommodate for higher quality environment. Clients are ready for high value, transparent and on-target audiences that are truly additive and attentive for their brands.

Bill: What's your experience with RealEyes?

Mike: We've worked with not only RealEyes but also its competitors in eye tracking. While primarily positioned for creative pre-testing we've found success in using RealEyes' tech in post-campaign measurement. Understanding where we lost user attention in politely disruptive ads has allowed us to separate the impact of media and audience strategies from creative quality on performance.

Bill: How do you see the benefits of the new Adelaide-RealEyes team-up?

Mike: Adelaide needed eyeball data to close the loop. RealEyes is now ahead of its competitors because their data can now be used for in-market optimization instead of providing pre- or post-campaign insight only. Being able to account for creative resonance to drive in-market optimization is a real differentiator in the marketplace where we typically have to look at these factors separately, after the fact.

Bill: How is this going to affect the ecosystem?

Mike: There are three types of players that are going to be adversely affected. Just-digital players who are not seeing the importance of cross-screen fast enough; eyeball-only pretesting-only players who can't measure in-market natural exposures in the wild, and other adtech/research companies with a static model who are therefore unable to advance methodology. Adelaide joining forces with RealEyes futureproofs both of them. Havas and our clients will continue to help refine all these science-based cross-screen tools that work.

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