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News Analysis

How much should advertising attention cost by screen and platform? Australian cross-platform CPM measurement trial goes global

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

21 September 2020 3min read

Karen Nelson-Field: "Every platform has different claims around their effectiveness. None of it is transparent, most of it is meaningless. This sort of unit pricing approach puts a line in the sand."

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

21 September 2020 3min read

OMD’s Global Chief Strategy Officer Chrissie Hanson is among a group of Australian and international agencies, brands, holding groups and media companies backing the beta trial of a standard measurement that links active attention of ads to CPM pricing across screens and platforms.

“We know attention paid to ads is very different by screen, device, channel and platform but there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding,”

- Chrissie Hanson, Global Chief Strategy Officer, OMD

OMD’s Global Chief Strategy Officer Chrissie Hanson is among a group of Australian and international agencies, brands, holding groups and media companies backing the beta trial of a standard measurement that links active attention of ads to CPM pricing across screens and platforms.

Professor Karen Nelson-Field will announce details of the open trial today in a webinar put on by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) on the attention economy.

Nelson-Field’s research unit, Amplified Intelligence, has developed an AI-based media planning tool, attentionTRACE, which lets advertisers and media planners input their specific CPM pricing regimes to benchmark relative performance by active attention to advertising by different platforms, screens and formats.

“We know attention paid to ads is very different by screen, device, channel and platform but there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding,” said OMD’s global strategy boss Chrissie Hanson. “A standardised attention metric that reduces the incredible complexity for media planning and pricing is long overdue.”

Nelson-Field said “Active Attention Seconds” adopts the approach of the grocery industry which introduced a standard unit of measure for consumers to compare pricing, no matter the variables like pack size. In the case of attentionTRACE, the specific CPM pricing inputs are made by advertisers and media planners into the SaaS platform to understand the effectiveness of an ad for “active attention” across multiple screens and platforms, rather than using an “opportunity to see” (OTS) baseline. 

“Every platform has different claims around their effectiveness,” Nelson-Field told Mi3. “None of it is transparent, most of it is meaningless. This sort of unit pricing approach puts a line in the sand, particularly as a planning tool. 

“Traditional OTS tells us nothing of whether an ad has been viewed,” Nelson-Field said. “Attention has quickly risen to the surface as a hopeful measure to shine a light on advertising effectiveness.”

The trial will initially cover markets including Australia, the US, the UK and Germany. 

The methodology, which has been deployed across international markets, uses continuous sub-second eye tracking to measure attention to ads on mobile devices, social feeds and TV screens, whatever the ad size. It also can collect platform and device data such as volume, scroll velocity, screen orientation and viewability metrics and currently has is using data from 15 platforms and TV networks.

Nelson-Field said it was likely the baseline data would be updated for individual markets once or twice annually.
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