Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Lumen news.png

Apologising is an art. KFC’s justly-famous FCK ad is just about the perfect apology ad, and we have the attention data to prove it. But what do they get right that others get wrong? Download our free report to compare KFC’s success to a points failure from Southern Rail. 

 

 

Lumen wins top prize at Mobile World Congress

Lumen was awarded first prize at the #EU_EIC #SMEInstrument Innovation event, part of Mobile World Congress held this week in Barcelona. 

79 high-potential innovators from 17 different countries participated, with a shortlist of 12 who were asked to pitch in front of a jury of 14 leading investors. 

And Lumen won. Which was nice. The judges were impressed by the 'truly disruptive' nature of our approach, and the simplicity of how we solve a large and pressing problem. 

If you want to find out more about the reality of attention, or want to start buying attention, download the white paper we have put together with our friends at Avocet, the innovation dsp.

Lumen was awarded first prize at the #EU_EIC #SMEInstrument Innovation event, part of Mobile World Congress held this week in Barcelona. 

79 high-potential innovators from 17 different countries participated, with a shortlist of 12 who were asked to pitch in front of a jury of 14 leading investors. 

And Lumen won. Which was nice. The judges were impressed by the 'truly disruptive' nature of our approach, and the simplicity of how we solve a large and pressing problem. 

If you want to find out more about the reality of attention, or want to start buying attention, download the white paper we have put together with our friends at Avocet, the innovation dsp.

 

What makes car advertising different?

36874189529.jpg

On Wednesday, we were at the Magnetic Motors Briefing, where some of data on the power of context was being presented. But it got us thinking about what makes car advertising special. So we’ve put together a short report about the idiosyncrasies of car advertising, which can be downloaded below. 

We know that attention is finite, rare and valuable. But how do you act on these insights? Lumen has embedded our predictions into Avocet, the innovation DSP, allowing you to identify and invest behind ads that are likely to get looked at as they become available.

And attention pays. Ads that pass our ‘effective attention’ threshold are significantly likely to convert to sales. We’ve written up our findings in an exclusive feature with Campaign which can be found on our website

 

Name *
Name

How to align your media buying strategy with consumer attention for higher brand recall and ROI

Attention Economy.png

We know that attention is finite, rare and valuable. But how do you act on these insights? Lumen has embedded our predictions into Avocet, the innovation DSP, allowing you to identify and invest behind ads that are likely to get looked at as they become available.

And attention pays. Ads that pass our ‘effective attention’ threshold are significantly likely to convert to sales. We’ve written up our findings in an exclusive feature with Campaign and made a report.

Download the report to learn: 

  • How to measure attention
  • Predicting attention trends

  • Ways to interpret attention data effectively
  • How to win the battle for attention

Full Name *
Full Name

Faster. Higher. Stronger.

We were over in Brussels this week, giving a talk at the CommPass Media Vision conference. One of the charts we presented got us thinking about what distinguishes the best performing websites in terms of advertising attention. What does it take to win gold in the Attention Olympics?

For some time now, we have been highlighting that the key to success is as much to do with viewable time as size or context of advertising. The longer an ad can be seen, the more likely it is to be noticed, and the longer it will be looked at for.

But there’s more to it than that. As you can see below, ads on high performing sites not only get noticed more – but they get noticed sooner. Newsbrands make a particularly good example. Not only do people notice the ads more and look at them for longer – but it takes them less time to get noticed. The attention higher, and the results stronger, but it all happens much faster. Altius, Fortius, but also Citius, as it says on the gold medals.

Screenshot 2018-02-09 11.31.50.png

Why is this? We have three theories. It could be down to direct programmatic. Buying direct from publishers means that it takes less time for ads to load, which means that they are viewable sooner than those sold via other technology.

But let’s not slag off intermediary ad tech too much. Better ad tech in general may also be having an effect. Major newsbrands can afford invest in better sell-side technology, or partner with the best buy-side providers, than other, lesser sites. This means that ads even the remnant inventory will be served quicker and more consistently than other sites. This may be having an impact their relative ‘velocity of attention’.  

And finally, it might be down to the power of design. We’ve said before that quality journalism leads to longer dwell times, and so better results. But it looks like quality site design means that ads are getting noticed quicker. Good UX means that ads are positioned in prominent locations, and surrounded by negative space, which accentuates their attention-grabbing powers. The simple, elegant design of many newsbrand websites contrasts with the busyness of other sites, where even viewable ads can be lost amidst the clutter.

In the ancient Olympics, there were prizes not only for the fastest runners or highest jumpers, but also for the most affecting artists. It seems that to win the modern Attention Olympics, there’s a role for both brawn and beauty.

Facebook beats YouTube for most noticed advertising this November - with BT.com third

New research from Lumen has crowned Facebook as the site with the most noticeable advertising for November. Eye tracking data from the Lumen panel reveals that 54% of viewable ads on Facebook were in fact viewed, while 42% of YouTube ads were actually looked at. Both sites significantly outperformed the digital display average of 18%.

Our Panelists receive nectar card points for undertaking tasks, but have the opportunity to earn more if they leave their eye tracking devices on whilst naturally browsing. This gives us a wealth of information on what sites people visit, for how long and when ads are noticed and where.

So, what has driven all this attention to Facebook’s advertising? Firstly, people spend a lot of time on Facebook: average dwell time per page sits at around 6 minutes. And it’s not just the length of time that matters here, it’s the quality of the time. You’d be surprised to know, people really are interested in their own Facebook feeds: they are fully in discover mode, on the lookout for posts that interest them.  

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 09.48.20.png

Secondly, the majority of Facebook’s advertising is in-line with content. Instead of trying to disrupt the viewing experience, working with it by using in-line ads can lead to not just a greater number of viewable ads, but also more viewed ads. 

Up next was Youtube. Similarly to Facebook, viewability teetered around the 30% mark (31.4%), of which 42% of ads were seen. This, again, is a staggering performance for digital advertising. But could they perform even better? The majority of YouTube’s advertising is pre-roll, where the ad is played before the videos viewers want to watch. Which essentially means people have to watch the ad (for at least 5s) before they get to watch their video. But 58% of people are actively avoiding this advertising, which shows how making people look doesn’t mean to say they will look.  

Bronze medal this month goes to BT. BT have proved that you don’t need to be a tech giant to know what you are doing with digital advertising. A well-designed, clean and clutter-free homepage has ensured almost a quarter of viewable ads were noticed, often for long enough to take home key messages. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 09.52.35.png

So, well done Facebook. But also, well done BT, for showing us you don’t need to be a tech giant to generate attention to advertising.

Get in touch to receive document on implications of these findings for publishers and media buyers.


Get in touch with us to test your own, we'd love to hear from you!

Time Budgets

OOH: what posters can teach digital about time budgets

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 21.05.03.png

If you are paid to make advertising then you often find advertising very interesting – especially your own. You stare at it, interrogate it, read the small print and check the details. If you’re a digital advertiser, you watch and re-watch your creations to make sure that every frame is perfect and that it leads to exactly the right landing page. And well you might, it’s what pays your mortgage.

This is not normal. You are weird. Most people ignore most ads – even the ones made by you. Data from the Lumen panel shows that online, only 18% of the ads that people could see ever actually get noticed. And if they do engage with advertising, they do so far more fleetingly than you might imagine. The average time spent engaging with a digital ad is 1.2 seconds (2.2 seconds for the average print ad). Only 5% of digital ads get looked at for more than 1 second. People don’t READ advertising. They LOOK at it. Big difference.

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 21.07.20.png

This leaves marketers with a choice. Firstly, you can issue a challenge to your agency. Summoning your inner King Canute, you clear your throat and imperiously decree: ‘Make me an ad that people want to look at for 30 seconds!’. That might work: John Lewis seem to make a pretty good fist of it. But equally, it might end up with an emperor’s new clothes situation: agencies just telling you what you want to hear, even when they know it’s ridiculous.

Alternatively, you could match your creative to your ‘time budget’. Sure, people could ogle your creative for hours on end, but in reality they only look for a couple of seconds. If that’s how most people actually engage with ads, the question becomes: what can I say in a couple of seconds? How can I simplify my message to fill the time allotted?

This is not a new problem. The out-of-home (OOH) industry has been grappling with this for centuries. Theoretically, people could stop and stare at posters for as long as they like. Occasionally, this might even happen – with unexpected results. But we all know that most of the time they don’t. Instead, we challenge creative to get the message over in a single sentence or compelling image. To make a picture worth a thousand words. To keep it simple, stupid.


New media marketers have a lot to learn from the oldest media of them all. Just because you have a lot to say doesn’t mean that your audience has a lot of time to listen. People don’t have to engage if they don’t want to – and frequently they don’t. It’s up to us to fit into their lives and earn their attention.

Get in touch with us to test your own, we'd love to hear from you!

Black Friday: we predict a riot (at Currys)

It’s Black Friday. Quick! Get down the shops! Grab that 4K TV you’ve always been dreaming of and celebrate the £100 you’ve saved! But where are you going to go? Which shop will have the best deals? Which retailer has successfully told us consumers how much they can save? 

Over the last week, we have tested some digital Black Friday ads for some of the biggest retailers in the UK, to find out just that. First, we had John Lewis. Yes, they had time to think about Black Friday in the midst of #MoztheMonster. Although, they didn’t want you to know they were thinking about Black Friday, rather, keeping it very “John Lewis” – understated, clean & with absolutely no mention of Black Friday whatsoever. Yes, their ad was beautiful, well designed and ticks all of the boxes for our usual creative guidelines for digital advertising. But this is Black Friday. And consumers demand more on Black Friday. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 20.53.14.png

Next came Argos. Argos is a big player in the Black Friday game. Particularly in print, with their effective catalogue style advertising (see Black Friday: is it all it’s cracked up to be? from last week). This year in digital, the high contrast of colour on a black background really caught people’s attention. However, the Paypal partnership distracted consumers from the main event. Would an image of a product worked harder at getting the Black Friday message across?

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 20.56.09.png

Finally, we have Currys. Currys are one of those retailers that love talking about Black Friday. Their Black Tag event is one of the biggest sales across the UK retail market. And boy have they made sure us consumers know about it. As mentioned last week, the more you mention Black Friday and all your deals, the more likely are people going to look. 34% of our panel noticed Currys’ billboard, for an astonishing 1.4”.

We didn’t just find this in digital, either. Currys successfully applied a catalogue style creative to their Black Friday print advertising last week, leading to a boost in % viewing of +7% compared to norm (84% vs. 77%). Cross channel, Currys are really bossing Black Friday.

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 20.59.37.png

Get in touch with us to test your own, we'd love to hear from you!

It’s about time

One of the big problems facing online publishers is over supply. There are simply far too many online ads out there. In the old days, there were only so many magazines and newspapers, each with a finite amount of inventory to sell. Now, major publishers compete directly against every man and his blog, and supply of available advertising inventory is essentially limitless. The laws of supply and demand would tell us that as supply grows prices fall. And so they have. Through the floor.

This might sound like a good thing for advertisers: digital ads are ten a penny! But such low prices have a high cost. Sure, everything’s cheap, but is any of it any good? The commodification of ad inventory has made it very difficult for buyers to use price to discriminate value. Price discovery is hard when everything costs pretty much nothing.

But here’s where everyone has got it wrong. Inventory does not equal attention. And attention is a rare and finite resource. There may be millions of ads that a consumer could see, but he or she can only look at them one at a time. Engaging with ads eats up their time. Time is the scarce resource that advertising consumes.

When you look at media consumption through the prism of time you realise that there’s no over-supply in the market at all. In fact, there is a positive attention drought at there.  People are brilliant at avoiding advertising: on average, only 18% of viewable ads get looked at at all.

And suddenly, it’s very easy to see a way of distinguishing between good and bad inventory. As you can see from the charts below, the longer an ad is available to be seen, the more likely it is to get noticed at all, and the longer people spend actually looking at the ads. Bigger ads get noticed in a shorter time window than smaller ads – with 970x250 ‘billboards’ massively out performing all other standard formats.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 11.30.02.png

Sure, there are lots of other factors that lead to ad engagement. Well designed, elegant sites draw more attention to advertising than cluttered sites. Sites that generate concentrated engagement often generate even more attention to the accompanying advertising. Creative is a big deal. But of all the drivers that determine engagement with advertising, viewable time far and away the most important.

The Lumen data suggests that the standard measures of viewability employed by the industry are ludicrous. Ads that have 50% of the pixels viewable for one second (the current MRC benchmark)  are likely to get a tenth of a second of actual viewing, a dwell time that would make even the most ardent proponent of the low involvement processing model of advertising baulk. Advertisers need to get real and start buying inventory that has a chance of being noticed and engaged with. And quality publishers need to push this story themselves. The FT, Economist and Telegraph have all championed a more ‘time based’ approach to ad valuation. Others should follow.

Economics is the study of decisions under conditions of scarcity. The economics of digital advertising is broken because people believe that there is no longer any scarcity: inventory is infinite. But time isn’t – and it’s about time that we took it seriously.

Get in touch with us to test your own, we'd love to hear from you!

Black Friday: is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Black Friday made its way across the pond to the British high street in 2010, bringing with it huge discounts, long queues and even the odd fisticuffs over the last TV. But does this bumper discount day (or days as it has now come to be) have any effect on attention to advertising?

Attention to advertising is often secondary: people primarily read newspapers for the news. Ads are commonly ignored by readers, and dwell times are typically very low. In fact, 25% of exposures in print are ignored altogether, with those seen keeping people interested for a mere 2.2”. Digital ads fair even worse: only 35% are noticed for less than a second on average.

Hang on a minute though – on Black Friday, aren’t people on the hunt for deals? Don’t they want to look at ads to find that bargain plasma TV? Surely, if they were going to look at ads, Black Friday would be the perfect time?

Over the last few years we have collected tons of data on consumers’ behaviour around Black Friday and found just that: the way people look at ads changes on Black Friday. On Black Friday, consumers are on the search for deals, and are actively looking for advertising to help give them information on these offers. This leads to a Black Friday Attention Premium: greater standout and higher engagement with ads.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.07.35.png

So, as an advertiser, how can I make this extra attention work for me? First things first, join in! We have found that ads that mention Black Friday, do even better than those that don’t. Going all out on a Black Friday template, with Black Friday in the headline can lead to a 20% uplift in attention. Debenhams is an excellent example of this, and has been our Black Friday winner for 2 years running!

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 11.48.22.png

Secondly, take advantage of the change in consumer behaviour. Usually, we find less is more: ads that look like a poster work harder at grabbing attention because people don’t have time to look for long. Black Friday is an exception: with consumers willingly searching out adverts for information, creating ads in a catalogue style can help consumers easily compare offers, whilst simultaneously boosting attention to your ad. Argos is a successful example of this, by creating a catalogue ad on Black Friday they increased engagement by almost 80%!

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.19.46.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.21.54.png

Every year, Black Friday is becoming a bigger part of the consumer retail calendar. With this comes extra attention to advertising. So why not join the Black Friday fun?

Get in touch with us to test your own, we'd love to hear from you!