We were in Helsinki last month, at the guests of Finnpanel, talking to media planners and buyers about the reality of attention to online video. There was a very big screen.
Size matters. As we have noted before, big posters get more attention than small posters. Big billboard banner ads get more attention than MPUs. Video ads on big desktop screens get more attention that video ads on little mobile screens.
But size isn’t everything. What we find time and again is that attention to advertising is a function of attention to the surrounding content. The more you engage with the content, the more you engage with the advertising. This is why an ad placed next to some high quality journalism that you savour slowly will get more attention than when it is placed next to train times that you glance at quickly.
And the best performing ads are placed as close as possible to the most engaging content. Below is a meta-analysis of over 200,000 page impressions we have captured on our UK-based desktop panel since 2016, showing where attention tends to go on a typical web-page.
You can see that the heat is often at the top of the page, and follows the content down the centre left of the page.
Which begs the question, where would you put your ads? In line with the content, where they are likely to get noticed, or to the right-hand side, where they are much more likely to get ignored?
As Kirsty and Phil will tell you, it’s all about location, location, location.