It is important to test emerging metrics and more agile approaches to understand creative excellence, believes Mars’ Sorin Patilinet, and, with that in mind, the food-to-petcare business is exploring how it can best use attention.

In The WARC Guide to Planning for Attention (subscribers can read the full report here), the Global CMI Director at Mars Inc’s Communications Lab ponders a future in which advertisers could soon be buying attentive reach.

Mars, he explains, has long focused media measurements on best in class effectiveness and efficiency tools in order to better understand how its advertising works.

“For all our decisions in media, we measure the direct sales impact of unique media exposures at household level, using best-in-class Single Source panels,” he explains.

“During the past 14 years, we’ve built an internal methodology and analytics engine that leverages data from household panels, available from standard panel suppliers, to extract the most accurate view on ad performance.”

This repository of what works and what doesn’t in Mars’ advertising, across all its product categories, not only guides media decisions, but acts as a “a robust Single Source of truth for testing any emerging metrics or more agile approaches.”

Among those emerging metrics is attention, which it is now using as a pre-testing tool.

“We believe that an execution with a better attention score will travel across media channels better and will be a safer bet for you when you need to make a choice,” says Patilinet.

“At the same time, Attention is fully utilised to understand the moments in your creative that are winning consumers’ minds, and those that are confusing them.”

And he sees much greater potential in attention metrics than just their use in pre-testing; they could become a proxy for sales impact, for example.

“We are extremely interested in solutions that measure Attention in a similar way to third-party viewability metrics that are available,” Patilinet says. “In a not-so-distant future, we want to be able to access a dashboard that shows in flight, at large scale, how our consumers pay attention to our ads, in a privacy and consent-given environment.”

“Today we buy reach; tomorrow we might buy attentive reach,” he adds. “The shift will be abrupt.”

Read Sorin Patilinet’s article in full: Using attention to scale creative excellence at Mars.

Jonathan Waite (Dentsu Aegis Network) and Professor Karen Nelson-Field (Amplified Intelligence) will be presenting a webinar on Measuring the Value of Attention on Tuesday 16 June (9:00am BST/ 4:00pm SGT). WARC subscribers can register here.

The WARC Guide is a compilation of fresh new research and expert guidance with WARC’s editorial teams in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai pulling in the best new thinking globally. It also showcases the best on WARC – case studies, best practice and data sourced from across the platform.

Sourced from WARC