As advertisers start to shift their focus from viewability metrics towards attention, it is important to remember that attention is a spectrum, says Google’s Claire Charron.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the research manager for market insights at Google outlines a research project designed to understand attention levels dedicated to different devices and platforms and stresses that “attention is not a simple yes/no binary measure”.

The study was based on an in-home three-camera set-up capturing all angles in the living rooms of eight households over the course of six weeks, complemented by smartphone screen-recording technology and a range of self-report measures.

One instance of the spectrum effect is how users experience ads, which may be viewable only, audible only or both together. As one would expect, those who both see and hear ads experience higher ad recall, brand awareness and consideration than those who only see or only hear ads.

“In the case of ad recall, the difference between our exposed group and our control group is 2.7 times higher for people exposed to ads that are audible and viewable compared to people who are exposed to ads that are audible only,” Charon reports.

Ad relevance is another factor, with campaigns using intent-based targeting being shown to have 20% higher ad recall lift and 50% higher brand awareness lift relative to campaigns only using demographic targeting.

Google also assessed “incoming attention” – asking what was the attention of the viewer just as the ad is on the verge of being served. “We found that whatever the measure of attention (e.g. gaze or optimising behaviours), attention strongly correlated with the device being used to consume the video,” Charron explains.

Thus, with mobile phone viewing, which is typically physically closer, the video content viewed is more personal, and the viewing experience more invested in by the individual viewer; TV, on the other hand is more distant, more communal and with content less tailored to the individual.

And user location – in-home or out-of-home – appears less of a factor in affecting attention than “the stability of their environment”.

So people will watch video content while commuting in the same way they do at home; but if they’re waiting in a queue, they will chose content and platforms they can consume in a more piecemeal fashion and lend their attention to in shorter spurts.

Sourced from Admap