Sam McEwIn and Dean Millson discuss the importance of attention in advertising and the findings of Professor Karen Nelson Field’s research on attention. They explore the impact of attention on memory and brand recall, as well as the different channels that attract attention, such as television, catch-up TV, and mobile phones. The conversation highlights the potential of optimising ads and media plans to maximize attention and the need for a unified metric to measure attention across different channels. The discussion also touches on the effectiveness of digital TV ads and the value of print advertising.


0:00:27 – (Sam McEwin): Yes. Welcome back to another episode of The Brandwidth Audio Podcast. My name’s Sam McEwin. Joining me dressed in exactly the same shirt as he wore in the last episode, is Dean Millson.

0:00:36 – (Dean Millson): It’s so bizarre. Exactly the same thing that was going through my head as you introduced me then. Thank you, Sam.

0:00:46 – (Sam McEwin): Have you not slept in the last three weeks that we.

0:00:51 – (Dean Millson): Funny.

0:00:52 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. We may have mentioned welcome, everybody, to the episode we may have mentioned at the end of the last episode that we are making some early attempts at recording video to accompany these podcasts, which may or may not end up on YouTube. We’re certainly at some point going to have video on YouTube. I think whether my attempts to set up some sort of rudimentary recording system have worked or not, I’m not sure about. But it has definitely exposed the fact that we tend to record these episodes back to back a couple of times.

0:01:20 – (Dean Millson): Have to have a change of clothes, like hold a wardrobe.

0:01:25 – (Sam McEwin): There’s a lot to think. See, little things that you don’t think about when you’re recording a podcast.

0:01:29 – (Dean Millson): We’re adding complexity here.

0:01:30 – (Sam McEwin): We’re going to need a wardrobe department.

0:01:32 – (Dean Millson): Yeah, we are.

0:01:34 – (Sam McEwin): That could be fun. Wow.

0:01:37 – (Dean Millson): There’s a whole new distinctive assets. I can just think of turning up in some sort of fancy dress. A bit of what’s come to mind, like Civil War. I don’t know why I’m gone there. Like, if I dressed up as a Civil War generally, I don’t know why.

0:01:55 – (Sam McEwin): I just pictured you looking like the Colonel Sanders. I don’t know if that was I think I’m in the General Lee with the little okay.

0:02:04 – (Dean Millson): All right.

0:02:07 – (Sam McEwin): It’s sort of related. I’ve heard of facial hair as branding. What was his name? From you, but wouldn’t know him, but from Moz SEO. Moz Rand. He used to do some sensational he used to do some video content called Whiteboard Fridays, where he tackled some really watching those, actually. Yeah, it was really good. And there was sort of early days of content marketing, and he’d get a whiteboard and he’d sort of plan out what he was going to talk about on the whiteboard pre the show. And then he’d sort of talk through it usually quite complex technical SEO things. But he had a lot of charisma, and he did them really well. And as it evolved, he started sort of doing some interesting things with his facial hair.

0:02:51 – (Sam McEwin): And then I don’t know whether it was his biography, which is a really good biography called I think it was called Founder or something. It was actually about his journey with Moz trying to become the next sort of tech unicorn and the disappointment of only becoming a $40 million company.

0:03:11 – (Dean Millson): How disappointing.

0:03:12 – (Sam McEwin): I know, but it was interesting because he outlined quite distinctly. But anyway, I think it was either in that or something else, where he talked about how that was actually something he was doing for branding purposes.

0:03:26 – (Dean Millson): Well, it does, but like I said, unfortunately, this isn’t Joe Rogan we’re not seeing here. Smoking weed with kind of an elaborate set. We’re not quite there, but maybe we can do something. Yeah, what are they going to wear next?

0:03:44 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, well, there you go. So tune in for that. See how we’ve got a pretty plain old set up here right now? But how will it evolve on our as yet unnamed YouTube channel?

0:03:54 – (Dean Millson): No. Maybe like Chris Doe. Chris do? Chris Doe. I think it is the instagram branding and marketing influencer. He has awesome caps. Did I tell you about that?

0:04:04 – (Sam McEwin): You mentioned this. This is something you wanted to do.

0:04:07 – (Dean Millson): Thanks for telling everyone about that. No, he has really distinctive kind of caps. They’re baseball caps, but they’re not for baseball teams. And you and I were talking about where do you get kind of cool brand, like fashionable caps that are kind of distinctive and interesting? So maybe there’s something into this. Well, I can’t do that. I can’t do caps. He’s already doing that. But I’ll think of something.

0:04:31 – (Sam McEwin): The baseball caps are gone. But yeah, cowboy hat.

0:04:34 – (Dean Millson): Oh, cowboy hat could do that. I don’t know. Actually, I got a nice we are really going off topic here, but I got a really nice Akubra, which is a fantastic Australian hat brand, not your average kind of jackaroo. A Cobra, or like more of a hipster weekend a Cobra. It was pretty good, actually. So maybe I didn’t think it was going to work and it worked really well. So I might bring that in next.

0:05:00 – (Sam McEwin): While we’re talking about things that should be part of our pre show planning.

0:05:03 – (Dean Millson): Yeah.

0:05:03 – (Sam McEwin): What are we doing today? I’ve got you set up with the Biz Wisdom logo in the background.

0:05:08 – (Dean Millson): You knew that.

0:05:09 – (Sam McEwin): No, I didn’t. Well, if I had a thought about that, I would have sat where you’re sitting.

0:05:14 – (Dean Millson): That’s all right.

0:05:14 – (Sam McEwin): So we’re going to have to get some sort of demarca sort of backdrop here, t shirts, something to bring back to that.

0:05:22 – (Dean Millson): Wow, what exciting content for our listeners out there.

0:05:29 – (Sam McEwin): We’ve gone completely off top anyway. Yeah, well, thanks for tuning in. However you’ve tuned in and we’re not wearing the same shit. We have slept. Well, we haven’t slept, but what am I trying to say here? We’re doing okay.

0:05:44 – (Dean Millson): We’re okay. Yeah. We have more than one pair of clothes.

0:05:47 – (Sam McEwin): We’re just not and if you’re binging on our shows back to back via our newly formed and as yet unnamed YouTube channel, then don’t worry, it’s okay.

0:05:57 – (Dean Millson): Yeah, that’s right. So, Sam, you’re going to bring a topic today, but let me introduce let me take us along here, because you normally do this, but we’re rambling a lot. So for the uninitiated, what Brand is all about is one of us brings a topic around, branding and marketing, unannounced for the other to chew on, I guess. And today is your turn and I have no idea where this is going, so I’m going to pass over to you.

0:06:28 – (Sam McEwin): Very good. Well, talk about another thing about our show for the Uninitiated is that there’s a drinking game that you could potentially play along to this, which is there’s a few drinking games, actually. One involves the mention of the word signaling, take a shot. The other involves bunnings, bunnings. And potentially the last, or at least the third, involves Professor Byron Sharp. But I’m not going to talk about Professor Byron Sharp today.

0:06:59 – (Dean Millson): Well, we have so well, we have.

0:07:00 – (Sam McEwin): Yes, but this is another professor Byron Sharp works for or runs even the Aaronberg Bass Institute in South Australia, a world leading, world defining marketing science institution in South Australia. There we spent a bit of time talking about him over the journey and well we should because he’s written some incredible papers about marketing effectiveness and trying as best he can and doing a very good job at making marketing a science and developing the laws of marketing.

0:07:38 – (Sam McEwin): And we’ve spent a bit of time talking about Jenny Romaniak and her work more on doing the same things along the same lines, but talking b to b. And today I want to talk about Professor Karen Nelson Field. Have you heard of Professor Karen Nelson Field before?

0:07:56 – (Dean Millson): No, I have not. I’m very sorry.

0:07:58 – (Sam McEwin): There we go, professor, you’re about to so while those two very smart individuals were going off and doing the things that they’ve been doing, professor Karen Nelson Field has been talking about attention. And not only talking about it, going and doing quite a lot of pretty important testing on attention of ads.

0:08:24 – (Dean Millson): So the attention we pay to them.

0:08:26 – (Sam McEwin): Attention that we pay to ads, what that does to memory structures, and also from a channel perspective, what are the channels that we pay attention to and what does that do. And it has received a little bit of publicity, certainly by the time this goes to air. There’s a few other podcasts and things because she’s been slowly over the course of this year, releasing new findings on different areas. So it started a couple of years ago when she measured some she was actually, I believe, at some point anyway, Facebook paid her to do some measurement of their platform.

0:09:08 – (Sam McEwin): And I’m not sure whether that actually came after she did some initial research showing how much attention is actually paid to ads on the Facebook platform, pardon me, that got a lot of publicity at the time. But she’s now backed that up with moving through some other research, looking at television ads and the different ways that we can now view television through streaming on phones and tablets and desktops and smart TVs and normal linear TV and these kind of things, and then pretty quickly backed that up with some insight into cinema.

0:09:48 – (Sam McEwin): And she’s also created a company which we’ll talk about at some point whose name I have written down here in my notes somewhere, if I can find it quick enough. No, we will get to that. Amplified Intelligence is the name of the company which is developing a set of planning tools in order to like, media planning tools that directly sort of pulls in their research to be able to start to plan media to maximize attention.

0:10:23 – (Sam McEwin): Okay, so there’s a little bit of an insight, but I think it’s interesting because we did a podcast pretty early on. I think it must have been one of our early podcasts where you talked about the first principles of advertising get noticed. So, yeah, first principle of advertising to get noticed. And for me, it brought back all the memories of some of the things I want to go back and listen to that.

0:10:44 – (Sam McEwin): But certainly that idea of, well, hey, look, it doesn’t matter how good your call to action is, it doesn’t matter how good the other elements of your ads are. If nobody notices your ad, it’s not going to work for you.

0:11:00 – (Dean Millson): To lead on. From what we’re talking about, last podcast about jingles, they’re not sexy, but they do get noticed and get remembered. Even if they don’t get everything remembered, the call to action or whatever, they get something remembered and they get your attention.

0:11:16 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. So look, I think attention is interesting because when you boil it down, I think where this is going too, right, is there’s metrics that have been created from this? So I know that do we need more marketing metrics?

0:11:32 – (Dean Millson): I’m not sure where my head was going.

0:11:35 – (Sam McEwin): This, to me, feels like an important metric. This might be the one metric to rule them all, but certainly the one metric to replace a lot of other metrics that don’t work very hard for us. And I might be jumping ahead to the end here and I’ll circle back a little bit. But if you can optimize an ad or if you can optimize a media plan to maximize the attention of your ad, then fundamentally there’s going to be a lot of other good functions, I guess that come off that. But that should be a good way to optimize your creative, that should be a good way to optimize your messaging.

0:12:16 – (Sam McEwin): That should be a good way to all those sort of other things that sort of go into that. And it seems like a pretty good North Star for me if you’re improving the first principle, the attention time. Yeah, there you go. I’ll circle back. So the first thing that I thought was interesting that came out of some of her early work was that she found that it takes 3 seconds of active attention to an ad to access memory.

0:12:45 – (Sam McEwin): Okay, so less than 3 seconds has sort of been through her research anyway, highlighted as a cut off point for, hey, if you’re getting less than 3 seconds attention on your ad, it’s not really being effective. Certainly you’re not accessing the memories and therefore any sort of thoughts of memory recall.

0:13:06 – (Dean Millson): Where are you getting less than 3 seconds? I’m just wondering.

0:13:09 – (Sam McEwin): Well, yeah, I haven’t familiarized myself enough with the research and this is what.

0:13:15 – (Dean Millson): I’ve got to say because you can’t skip YouTube before 3 seconds, can you?

0:13:20 – (Sam McEwin): Well, that’s true, but there’s an interesting thing about intention that I’ll but you.

0:13:23 – (Dean Millson): Can flick past something on Instagram, you can look elsewhere.

0:13:28 – (Sam McEwin): Right, I should define this. So all of her studies have been based around active attention looking at an ad. So if that ad is a display ad on a screen, they’re measuring how long did that person look at that ad?

0:13:45 – (Dean Millson): Because there’s a whole thing about TV and second screens and stuff like that as well, isn’t there? That people you watch an ad, however, a lot of the time now you’ve got your phone out and if the ads are on, I have my phone out when I’m watching the footy these days and seeing what’s going on Twitter while the game’s on. And that’s correct.

0:14:06 – (Sam McEwin): That’s a really good point to touch on with some of the findings that have come out because that’s absolutely mentioned times of days that watching gender comes into a role as well. So the way that males and females watch TV, particularly at certain times, which may talk to, I guess, gender roles and what people are doing in their house while the TV is on and these kind of things certainly plays a role. And the device of which it’s watched on other people being in the room. Are you watching it with the family? Are you watching by yourself?

0:14:34 – (Sam McEwin): All of these come into attention, but fundamentally what they’ve sort of found is, and I assume from the studies, unfortunately, the studies are really hard to get hands on. So most of what I’ve pieced together, I’ve pieced together from articles that have referenced the studies, but I’ve not been able to get my hands on them. So I don’t know if they’re out there, if anyone listening to this can help me to get access to them. I’d really love to delve further into the data, but what I have done is there is a number of articles, all of which I’ll put in the show Notes, a couple of great podcasts actually, that have interviewed Dr. Karen Essenfield and some of the other people that have been involved in the study.

0:15:13 – (Sam McEwin): Channel Nine were involved in a few of his studies. Val Morgan was included with a few of his studies and these kinds of things. So there’s a lot of data there and I’ve tried to sort of pull the little nuggets out of there as best I can, but I’d love to get my hands on the actual research. So I’m not sure how they put together that research program. I assume that what they did is they measured the attention that people paid to ads and then they surveyed them in some way or another and they measured brand recall and unprompted recall and all those kind of things that people use to measure ads.

0:15:47 – (Sam McEwin): And I think there may also be some scientific data here around memory and brain function and these kinds of things that certain attention time there 3 seconds you’re actually accessing the parts of your brain that recall memory and these kinds of things. So for whatever it is, one of the big takeaways out of all these studies is this sort of magic number of 3 seconds, actually.

0:16:11 – (Dean Millson): So that’s interesting. I often think this actually and you wonder what the audience for them is. But billboard ads on the side of roads or highways like here in Know, the Westgate, which has got Know Westgate freeway, they’re probably banking on there being a lot of traffic and you not going fast. I guess now I think about it, but I often do think about ads like that. When I’m driving, I’m not looking I’m not looking them for more than 3 seconds. I’m looking at the road.

0:16:48 – (Dean Millson): And I have to laugh about how intricate some of these ads are when it’s like I remember there was one, I can’t remember the brand, but it was a New Dip brand or something. I think they were they’re black and white, I can’t remember the name. But they had like three levels of information on their billboard. And I guess the only thing they can possibly be thinking of is 09:00 in the morning or 08:00 in the morning traffic jam here so someone will.

0:17:14 – (Sam McEwin): Be able to read. I think that’s just bad execution. I think what you’ve got is you’ve got people just staring at their own ad on their screen as they’re designing it, bringing it all in and I think good execution like we talked about. Jingles right. What’s the message you’re trying to get here? Install a room that goes up on your billboard, a couple of distinctive assets and I think the good ones do a really good job. Interestingly digital billboards. Yeah, most of them are digital now.

0:17:42 – (Sam McEwin): So that introduces here’s a metric for you share of screen because most of those billboards have six or seven ads that are actually rotating through there. Oftentimes you won’t notice them when you flick through, but they’re usually on about a seven second cycle.

0:18:00 – (Dean Millson): Seven, there you go.

0:18:01 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. So I mean, that gives you plenty of opportunity because the follow up to that 3 seconds is that can I find this here? So on average, each active attention second delivers three days of additional memory. So it takes 3 seconds.

0:18:27 – (Dean Millson): To register.

0:18:28 – (Sam McEwin): To register and every additional second that you get beyond that will increase the amount of time that you can recall that ad or that message by an additional three days.

0:18:40 – (Dean Millson): Wow, that feels excessive. Feels like a lot for a couple of seconds.

0:18:47 – (Sam McEwin): It does. And so that again, this is why I feel like this suddenly becomes a really important metric. Because if you can get a three second ad, great, hey, we’re accessing memory. If you can attract 3 seconds of active attention, we’re accessing memory. If you can attract 4 seconds, hey, you just won yourself an extra three days of memory. Good for you. 5 seconds, bang, there’s six days of extra attention.

0:19:14 – (Dean Millson): There’s something to be said for ads that make you work a little bit in those regards in certain places. Like, I’m thinking the metro lights at a train station, which are you’re waiting for? The train. People are waiting for the train they’re flicking through. The ones that kind of get you to stop and think what? And get you to read and kind of engage in know.

0:19:43 – (Sam McEwin): And that’s slightly unexpected, the shocking headline, right? Was it David Ogilvy? That know, the job of your headline is to read the subheading is to get you to read the know, the job of the subheading is to get you to read the ad copy or whatever, those kinds of things. It’s sort of like yeah, with that slightly unexpected out of place jarring, I.

0:20:05 – (Dean Millson): Don’T know, clever copy, something distinctive.

0:20:07 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, that probably also probably also explains why sex sells. If you’ve got 2 seconds of attention time looking at that hot model, maybe some of the rest of the ad sneaks in. Although if you spend too much time just looking at the model and not reading the ad, then maybe that’s not.

0:20:25 – (Dean Millson): Working for you either.

0:20:26 – (Sam McEwin): But yeah, there’s some interesting things there. So what were we talking about before? I got distracted by extra levels of attention.

0:20:40 – (Dean Millson): So we’re on attention. You’re talking about extra seconds.

0:20:43 – (Sam McEwin): I can’t remember. I should have painted.

0:20:45 – (Dean Millson): We lost any attention.

0:20:46 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, I think the first thing is three days of extra memory for every additional second takes 3 seconds to enter the memory structure. And then they also sort of found that your total length of attention time plays a huge role in driving awareness further as well. So once you hit what was it? Awareness moved from 30% for attention time under 10 seconds to and this actually comes from some different work by Playground XYZ, I should mention. But they sort of followed up on Karen Nelson Field’s initial work and sort of did some of their own testing, mainly on display ads and these kinds of things, which is where they play.

0:21:38 – (Dean Millson): Because that’s probably where the difficulty is. Now I’m trying to answer the question I asked before. So you can’t skip a YouTube ad in 3 seconds. You can skip an instagram one, but you can certainly scroll past.

0:21:54 – (Sam McEwin): Scroll past and you can certainly not look at something as well. So, I mean, Playground XYZ is really let’s go a different path. So Karen Nelson Field obviously sort of put this attention she calls it the attention economy. And she sort of put this on the agenda. So Playground XYZ are a display platform, although they sort of publish or a publishing network, and they do a lot of different sort of display ads.

0:22:19 – (Sam McEwin): And what they’ve tried to do is really optimize their platform, I guess, and their ad formats to maximize attention. And so they’ve sort of taken this and run with it. What they’ve done is they’ve developed a really interesting model for display ads and mentioned measuring attention time on there. So what they do is they’ve got a pool of opted in users that have opted in to allow their camera to be turned on while they scroll things and then use eye tracking to track where they’re looking on the screen. And then with that eye tracking, they can very accurately determine whether somebody’s looking at an ad or not.

0:22:55 – (Sam McEwin): And then the really clever thing that they’ve done is they’ve then created a model, like a machine learning model, and fed it with that data of real live eye tracking to match against other data points that non opted in users who don’t have their camera on have and they think they can get. I think it’s within about 4% accuracy correlation between all those other data points and whether somebody’s actually looking at an ad, which has then allowed them to be able to measure if somebody’s looking at an ad and then use intention time as a metric, which is really interesting for their platform but only extends as far as display. But I believe that they’re actually rolling out now a platform that’s decoupled from that display advertising that can then potentially serve on other forms of programmatic digital advertising. So there’s going to be some limits to all that, but it’s a really interesting sort of extension of these things and their data. They said, yeah, time under 10 seconds.

0:24:00 – (Sam McEwin): They had 30% brand awareness, but then that increased to 52% for anyone for attention time of ten to 20 seconds, and up to 67% for greater than 20 seconds, which is a long time to dwell on an ad, but particularly display ad. Again, really interesting correlation there between what they sort of distilled that down to, is that for each additional second of attention time achieved, the chance to increase awareness grows by 11%.

0:24:33 – (Sam McEwin): So again, every second of attention get attention, grows awareness and grows memory and all these kinds of things, and a couple of different studies there that have both shown much the same thing.

0:24:48 – (Dean Millson): The argument all that data kind of makes the case for maybe talking to clients about not doing something the same as a competition or guitar. We talked about car ads in the last it was before our conversation actually. Like if you strip the brand off most car advertising, it all looks exactly the same. So at the end of the day it’s quite brandless and yet everyone feels comfortable to do the same things. The competition is doing because we all do go with the herd a bit. That’s exactly it’s an argument for breaking out of that and getting more attention that way.

0:25:38 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, exactly. And then you roll in your distinctive assets and all of those kinds of things in there. But yeah, I think absolutely breaking out of that mold, being different, standing out, doing unique things and challenging different channels, there’s a pretty good grounding for attention. But the recent studies so this is all sort of up until this point, the recent studies have been coming out. So again, Dr. Nelson Field got together with Channel Nine and they did similar sort of testing. I don’t know again how it was done, but it was cameras on people.

0:26:16 – (Sam McEwin): Where are they looking? It’s not important, really, but they had three different categories of actively looking at the ad, passively looking at the ad, or completely looking somewhere else, or leaving the room or something, and these kinds of things. So interestingly in that they found that, no surprise, linear TV was incredibly effective, I think we said four times as effective in delivering short term sales impact than Facebook ads was sort of the measure that they had there.

0:26:50 – (Dean Millson): Well that’s always been, hasn’t it, the kind of the theory that you’re quite distracted and this is probably where you want to have data. Like I said, I feel like if you’re watching TV, not that I watch a lot of hardly any inline TV anymore, but when an ad comes on, you’ve got something else to do, like jump on your phone or kind of whatever, but it still kind of does. Well that might feel like what’s going on.

0:27:19 – (Dean Millson): It’s not actually what’s going on. That’s what the data really says.

0:27:23 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, and I think that’s exactly it. And what they saw is really strong attention time on the ad for people watching normal, what they call linear TV. This is broadcast TV. Here’s where it gets really interesting though. We spoke few episodes ago about connected TV, broadcast video on demand, the ability to be able to now tap into television through programmatic ad buys and digital and all these kinds of things. So they tested that as well.

0:27:53 – (Sam McEwin): Even more effective than normal TV in delivering attention time. In fact, I think it was something like I think that delivered six times greater, more effective than a Facebook than the same video on Facebook.

0:28:06 – (Dean Millson): So it’s more effective than Facebook, but.

0:28:08 – (Sam McEwin): Not than TV, but also more effective than linear TV.

0:28:11 – (Dean Millson): Now is that because the ad I don’t know heap about this, so this might sound like a dumb question, but the ad just kind of cuts in, doesn’t it?

0:28:24 – (Sam McEwin): I don’t think it’s got anything to do with that, to be honest. And what I believe it is, is the way that you’re viewing that media, or the reason you’re viewing that media. So we spoke before about okay reason. Okay. If you’re watching broadcast TV, particularly now with the second screens and these kinds of things. Maybe it’s just something on, maybe you’ve turned on the news while you’re cooking, but you’ve got your back to the TV. You got TV in the kitchen or something in the living room and you’re occasionally glancing at it.

0:28:55 – (Sam McEwin): We’re talking 15 2nd ads here, right? You’ll get I think it was 7 seconds of active attention was the average for linear TV. So yeah, that makes sense. Okay, there’s a 15 2nd ad and on average people are watching it for 7 seconds, or they’re actively and yet those other 8 seconds they’re doing something else or they’re glancing somewhere else. So suddenly you’re watching connected TV. Well, what’s the difference there? It’s on demand.

0:29:24 – (Sam McEwin): So you assume the reason that you’ve made a choice, you’ve actually made a choice to watch it. So you’re a little bit more engaged. That’s cool in that. So even again, most of that TV is watched on the big screen. So functionally there’s no difference. The ad is just as big, it’s on that screen, it’s in the same room as theoretically you’re watching broadcast TV, but you’ve made a more conscious choice to watch it. And therefore the ads that accompany that, maybe as people don’t now, there is probably a delivery point of view to that as well.

0:29:54 – (Sam McEwin): I think that what do they call them? I can’t remember now, but there’s less ads that play in one of those sort of catch up TV environments, ad loads, I think they call them, so that there’s a lighter ad load on that than there is typically on linear TV. So there may be some of those impacts sort of saying, well, if there’s only going to play two ads, you’re less likely to get up and make a cup of tea.

0:30:17 – (Sam McEwin): People say that. Do people do that? I don’t know, but whatever, get up and go do something else while the ad breaks are on. So there could be some functional things there, but I think it’s ultimately isn’t that interesting. And that’s where it goes into the next point, which is mobile phones. So that same catch up TV watched and this was nine now. So on nine now on your mobile phone, even higher engagement again.

0:30:40 – (Dean Millson): Really?

0:30:45 – (Sam McEwin): Right, yeah.

0:30:46 – (Dean Millson): That doesn’t feel and that was I.

0:30:48 – (Sam McEwin): Think when you talk it through and you go, okay, what’s that? Well, yeah, you’re even more engaged in that point. You’re definitely only watching it by yourself. There’s not a whole family sitting around watching the reruns of The Bachelor on catch up TV. So that’s a really personal environment. So you’re probably even more tuned into that. So it sort of makes sense when you talk it through.

0:31:08 – (Dean Millson): Yeah. So I’m thinking not that I am, but I ever do, but I’m on the bus coming home, or on the train coming home from work and I’m watching TV and that’s what I’m focused on. And then. If an ad comes on, there’s less to not going to talk to my partner or correct, get up and make a cup of tea. I’m just sitting there waiting for it to come back because I’ve got nothing else to do. Yeah, okay.

0:31:37 – (Sam McEwin): And I think that’s really interesting for me because if you listen to that podcast, I was coming from a point of view of like, hey, this is a really exciting time to be a small business because and for my clients, I got really excited. My clients know that there’s probably a number of them sick of me talking about connected TV and these kind of things now. But for me, it’s like, hey, for many small businesses, all you had was Facebook and Google.

0:31:57 – (Sam McEwin): Facebook’s more recent if you wanted to get into brand TV was out of the question for most, radio was out of the question for most, and some brands were too regionally specific for that to even be a good idea unless you had at least statewide coverage. It wasn’t really worthwhile. So I got really excited about that, thinking, oh, wow, this is a really good thing, where you can be very local, you can be hyper targeted, and you can be more effective and efficient with your budget so that small business can now get in the TV game. Wow, isn’t this exciting?

0:32:31 – (Sam McEwin): But the interesting thing, I always sort of thought, yeah, they’re sort of not as good as real TV ads, though, are they? This is good, this is good enough. And in the absence of being able to do that big TV buy, this is great news for our clients and small business. But I sort of felt like it was like the B version of a.

0:32:53 – (Dean Millson): Full TV, whereas it’s not.

0:32:55 – (Sam McEwin): No, this is just quite the opposite.

0:32:58 – (Dean Millson): Yeah, well, so those numbers are showing that, and we’ve spoken about this before, maybe off the podcast offline, but that idea of advertising signaling through wastage and you get that through TV and there’s been plenty of kind of studies done around that and the effectives of advertising to do with it, just like a big wasteful signal. We’re watching a different type of TV in terms of kind of catch up, and so it’s sold differently, but the experience is really no different. I’m still sitting there watching TV, so it’s going to take a little while for the mind to catch up to the different context, if it can at all.

0:33:43 – (Sam McEwin): And I think ad quality will change that a little bit. Like I think today, if you’re a small brand and you’re doing catch up TV ads, I think you’ll get a lot of that costly signaling theory, even with small spends. And I think that’s part of why I think it’s so exciting now and part of why I’m pushing small brands to get amongst this now while you’ve still got some of that value. Because I think if down the track catch Up TV ends up being a place that small brands are in. And it may not because I think actually the price may end up getting so expensive.

0:34:20 – (Dean Millson): That’s what it feels like.

0:34:24 – (Sam McEwin): With studies like this when they realize how effective it is. Big brands are all over this already. I think it is really quite cost effective.

0:34:32 – (Dean Millson): We should just keep this podcast between ourselves and all this research.

0:34:36 – (Sam McEwin): Don’t share this.

0:34:37 – (Dean Millson): Don’t share this.

0:34:39 – (Sam McEwin): This is not the podcast. But if what happens is there’s a flight of small business into that and the quality of the ad production drops and then we start to lose some of that shiny signaling of Catch Up TV. And your average audience, not us, not other marketing advertising people, your average consumer starts to feel that there’s a difference between the kinds of brands that advertise on Catch Up TV and that they’re somehow inferior to the ones that advertise on broadcast TV. Then maybe some of that shine comes off a little bit. But certainly, I mean, from attention time it seems really effective and yeah, I think that’s really changed my mindset anyway, of going, oh wow, this isn’t like the second fiddle thing. That, okay, well, if you can’t afford the big one, then this is a nice second option. This is a good play for any brand and really high attention time.

0:35:32 – (Dean Millson): No, they’re good. It’s really interesting when you frame it that way.

0:35:36 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. And then, so the next extension and this might I think this is the last extension of this is they then repeated this test in cinemas.

0:35:47 – (Dean Millson): Really?

0:35:48 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. So again, they got some, I assume, opted in users and set up some cameras around the Cinema and did this with Val Morgan, I believe it was, and measured whether people were actively looking at the screen and probably no surprises. It is so far the best platform that they’ve tested as far as active attention time, it’s got full almost, I think it was something like 80% or something like that.

0:36:19 – (Dean Millson): They’ve always talk about it’s a real captive audience, isn’t it? And there’s other things unrelated to this, but watching things in a group and the way you kind of focus and react or retain. Yeah, it’s one of those funny ones. No one’s been going to seminar for the last Cinema for the last few years.

0:36:47 – (Sam McEwin): I think it’s back to pretty much normal level now. And it was growing. I believe audience numbers were growing up.

0:36:54 – (Dean Millson): To the point which is funny in itself, like know Netflix is going to be the death of Cinema.

0:37:01 – (Sam McEwin): TV was going to kill the radio star.

0:37:03 – (Dean Millson): And there we go, there’s a jingle. Sam. Interesting.

0:37:07 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah. So some really interesting things there. I mean, it brings a new light to Cinema ads. Absolutely. And particularly if you’re starting to measure on attention time. The other thing for me is one of the major challenges I have as a digital marketer. We’ve talked about measurement bias before and so many I think it’s rife across all people in marketing, working in marketing profession, to put your advertising dollars where it’s easy to measure, not necessarily where it produces the best results.

0:37:39 – (Sam McEwin): And that’s understandable and I totally get why that happens. I think what attention as a metric really promises is hopefully a unifying metric that can bring all media together and certainly there’ll be different ways to measure it. And it may be that certainly what Dr. Karen Nelson field has done with amplified intelligence is to create a planning platform that okay, we might not be able to measure in real time what the tension is, but if we know that this channel typically has this amount of attention. So let’s put some portion of our media over there, and then we know that we’re optimized for attention there.

0:38:21 – (Sam McEwin): That’s a really strong thing. And then if we can then compare your Facebook ads and your TikTok ads and your display ads and whatever else to your TV ads and your radio ads, well, there’s, hey, there’s a unifying metric here that can bring all this together.

0:38:34 – (Dean Millson): Attention and reach is probably the and.

0:38:36 – (Sam McEwin): That’S the other thing that comes in. And that’s what I should say, actually, I should say that about linear TV. Like, yeah, that’s great. That mobile phone catch up TV has great attention, but it doesn’t have the reach of linear TV. So, again, I think if you’re putting together trade off yeah, right, yeah. And you balance that and that’s in your planning, you can go, okay, great. If you are a big brand and you can afford linear TV, then yeah, you put a little bit on mobile and you’ll put a little bit on catch up TV and smart TV stuff and then you’ll put a little bit on your linear TV and you’ll balance the reach with attention and you’ll have a really at least well articulated campaign.

0:39:10 – (Sam McEwin): So I think that’s really important. And the other interesting thing which is probably worthy of a conversation all of itself, is that one of the findings that came out is that actually the platform plays a bigger role in that attention than the creative messaging itself. So this is a potentially controversial one and I think there’s something to unpick there. But basically how Dr. Karen Nelson Field explains it is that there’s sort of like a ceiling and a floor on each channel.

0:39:39 – (Sam McEwin): So no matter how creative your advertising is, if you’re advertising on Facebook, it doesn’t matter, then it’s not going to be able to achieve the same level of attention that it gets on television. Like, there’s a sort of ceiling that it’s going to hit and that may be well below television.

0:39:57 – (Dean Millson): Okay, when you put it that way, I can appreciate that. Yeah.

0:40:01 – (Sam McEwin): So that’s sort of interesting to then sort of go, okay, well, now we’re starting to see a sort of hierarchy of channels for certain function. Now, again, I think this is attention time. It’s very much focused on brand and brand response and brand recall and these kinds of things. Now, if you are running direct response well, you still can’t click on a TV ad, although I think those infomercials, the old steak knives ones do actually perform pretty damn well from a direct response point of view. And TV is a wonderful direct response channel if you use it in that way. So there’s some interesting things to consider there as well. But I think this is just a wonderful topic and if nothing else, no other takeaway from this add attention economy to the list of words you keep an eye out for in media. I think we’re going to see a lot more news coming out of this as they create more studies and hopefully there’s some tech I have to read the analytics.

0:41:00 – (Dean Millson): I think for me, the key insight from this conversation because there’s a lot of data and there’s a lot of but the bit about the effectiveness of those digital TV ads that are in reach of the every man in some regard, or smaller brands, I think that’s massive. That’s massive. We’re going to start doing some stuff ourselves. We’ve actually put together our own ad for our agency and you reminded me to kind of look into it because you’d never think of running that type of stuff on TV otherwise. But when it’s more potentially within our reach, which is pretty cool.

0:41:48 – (Sam McEwin): And if you’re doing video, I mean, this is the thing if you’re doing video and what you’re trying to achieve with your advertising is to create some memory structures or to create some brand awareness and your medium is going to be video. Well, yeah, the know where most people are going now is, yeah, cool, we put that on Facebook. Maybe you think YouTube, but catch up TV with the same budget is going to be more effective. You’re going to get more attention, you’re going to get some of that costly signaling. So why are we putting that into Facebook now? If you can do all three, that’s going to change.

0:42:24 – (Sam McEwin): What was it? 70% of all digital advertising spend goes to Facebook, Google and Amazon?

0:42:31 – (Dean Millson): No, I think that’s going to I feel like the cost effectiveness of digital TV ads will big time.

0:42:38 – (Sam McEwin): Yeah, that’s true. Basic economics says that if they’re underweight now, but I mean, I had an interesting discussion with someone about print advertising the other day, mailing out brochures and things like this. He made an interesting point that said, well, people stopped doing that when Google Ads became a thing because the cost per click of a Google ad was significantly cheaper than mailing a brochure to somebody.

0:43:04 – (Sam McEwin): That’s not the case anymore for many industries. Yeah, it’s actually cheaper to mail a brochure to somebody than it is to click on a Google ad for some categories.

0:43:13 – (Dean Millson): Yeah, because some clicks are like $35. We had a client, mortgage brokers and.

0:43:18 – (Sam McEwin): Stuff are quite expensive, upwards of $100. We had a law firm, we were talking in excess of $100 per click for some of their more competitive keywords. Yeah, that’s really that’s what happens in the media landscape, right? Like, things become overvalued and undervalued. And I think I’m doing myself a disservice here. We make most of our money in this agency from selling Google ads and Facebook ads. Well, there’s a reason that’s the case. They’re really effective.

0:43:46 – (Sam McEwin): But I think there is now we’re seeing, well, are they a little bit pricey compared to some of the other options for certain objectives? And this is why I think being a digital marketer as opposed to just a marketing person is sort of ridiculous. We shouldn’t be having digital first. The one that triggers me every time, digital first. Why do you have a digital first strategy? You’re literally saying that you’re going to prioritize digital over a more effective channel if you came across one.

0:44:20 – (Sam McEwin): I mean, that seems absurd to me. So to me it’s like saying, okay, well, which are those underweight areas at the moment, I think catch up TV could be potentially underpriced, so might print mail out so we won’t have to bring that one back as well.

0:44:36 – (Dean Millson): Brokers sending out brochures to people rather.

0:44:38 – (Sam McEwin): Than yeah, the law firms. For the price of two clicks, you could probably send a thousand flies.

0:44:47 – (Dean Millson): Sure you could.

0:44:48 – (Sam McEwin): So, yeah, some interesting things to think. Little last little tidbit talking YouTube, and you talked about that five second skip. Yeah. So that locks you into the 3 seconds. Yeah. Unless that whole 5 seconds of attention time is spent looking at the little five second countdown time or waiting for it to end.

0:45:07 – (Dean Millson): Okay. There’s no attention there. Yeah, of course.

0:45:10 – (Sam McEwin): So you’re not paying attention to the ad, you’re only paying attention to the countdown timer.

0:45:15 – (Dean Millson): How can we get our brands on the countdown timer?

0:45:20 – (Sam McEwin): There’s a question. Or using unskippable formats, which I know a lot of our clients don’t like to do, but there are unskippable formats on YouTube.

0:45:30 – (Dean Millson): It’s funny when I’ve had an unskippable ad and I’m sure this is people saying it like, this is me saying it, as opposed to it really having effects. Like I have joke with people going, I’ll try to show someone something and like a 22nd unskippable ad come, I was like, I’m never buying this brand. But I’m sure you mentioned Frank Walker.

0:45:49 – (Sam McEwin): On the last episode and I’ve heard people definitely say, I will never, ever buy from Frank Walker. But then suddenly I think you become, yeah, I need market for some tiles. And you’re like, oh, who has good glass tiles that might be on sale? Right?

0:46:02 – (Dean Millson): Exactly.

0:46:03 – (Sam McEwin): So, yeah, interesting. Anyway, we should leave it with that. Thank you once again for tuning in. I’m looking down the barrel of the camera right now. That’s an interesting thing. Thank you for tuning in today and we hope to see you here. Join you at the next one.

0:46:19 – (Dean Millson): In different clothes.

0:46:20 – (Sam McEwin): In different clothes. Yes. But as always, do please leave. Reviews, share comment. I’ve got to say, it’s so amazing to get feedback from people. I’ve had quite a few, actually, emails and text messages and little references to the podcast, and they do fuel us to keep going. So appreciate that. Keep that coming. But if nothing else, keep tuning in and keep doing great work in whatever you do, marketing, whatever you’re doing great.

0:46:51 – (Dean Millson): Thanks.

0:46:51 – (Sam McEwin): I’ll see you next time.

0:46:52 – (Dean Millson): See you next time.

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