Apr 21 2015
The Key Video Metric You’re Missing: Attention
Q&A with AOL’s VP of Consumer Analytics & Research, Christian Kugel.
The NewFront and UpFronts are underway, and as advertisers begin committing big investments into television and digital video, they need to know the true impact of their advertising across screens.
We sat down with AOL’s VP of Consumer Research & Analytics, Christian Kugel, to get the full details on AOL’s Video Ad Attention Metric and how advertisers can get the most from their video buys.
What prompted you and your team to make this metric?
Television ratings today don’t account for attention. They measure OTS: opportunity to see. But just because a viewer has an opportunity to see, it doesn’t mean that they’re paying attention. Years ago, before the mass adoption of mobile devices, that was mostly okay. But today, the data is very clear: people are using their devices when watching TV. We thought that surely, this behavior would have a negative impact on advertising effectiveness. After all, if the TV is on and the viewer’s attention is focused on their phone or tablet, they would be less likely to pay attention to the ad. It seemed to us that in this new multi-device, fragmented environment, advertisers were paying for value that they weren’t getting. We wanted to qualify that with this initiative.
Television is still extremely important to any marketer’s advertising campaign. In what areas is television a necessity, and in which areas do you think video performs better?
This metric, and indeed the entire measurement framework we’ve introduced with this initiative doesn’t suggest that TV isn’t important. We have conclusive proof that TV works to communicate brand messages. We’ve simply quantified a new dimension of its potential value. The reality is that TV ratings systems have not advanced to keep up with evolving consumer behavior. After all, the opportunity to see measurement framework was created decades ago–well before laptops, smartphones and tablets. And because consumers’ behavior with multiple devices has fundamentally changed the way they watch TV, advertisers and agencies need a way to account for and understand that. Ultimately, advertisers should want to include attention as a way to value TV inventory. If they aren’t getting the full value of their ads due to degraded attention, that’s a problem. With so much clutter, consumer choice and media fragmentation, gaining consumers’ attention is harder than it has ever been. Taking that into account when advertisers are determining how to value different video inventory is therefore, important.
As the NewFront and UpFront seasons are underway, how should advertisers approach their television and digital video buys, armed with the knowledge of how much of an impact attention has on their advertising efforts?
It begins with acknowledging the deficiency in the current TV ratings–the fact that ratings don’t quantify attention paid to ads. Even commercial ratings don’t do that–the measurement is still opportunity to see. The attention metric we created can directly be used as a weighting variable for different types of video inventory. It doesn’t supplant other important metrics associated with video planning, such as reach and frequency–it supplements them. The attention metric can and should be an input into how to more precisely value inventory