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Market Voice 30 Nov 2021 - 3 min read

Time to back the Big Guns in the attention war

By Guy Burbidge - Managing Director, Val Morgan Cinema | Partner Content

Bond is bringing audiences back to cinema in droves, but it’s delivering so much more than box-office results.

Val Morgan is working with Karen Nelson-Field’s team at Amplified Intelligence to study the effect of attention metrics on cinema audiences. As James Bond’s latest film storms the global box office, it’s time for more meaningful metrics – and cinema is in a class of its own on the attention scale, Val Morgan’s Guy Burbidge writes.

The highly anticipated latest instalment of James Bond, No Time To Die, is a phenomenal success around the globe, now the highest grossing Hollywood worldwide release since 2019.

One of the most iconic characters of the Bond franchise has always been Q – who works tirelessly behind the scenes, combining science with creativity to provide 007 with the best, most potent weapons. This secret sauce provides the competitive edge for each mission, overcoming any evil villain that has the misfortune of crossing his/her (spoiler alert) path. From watches, spy cameras, explosive toothpaste, invisible cars, and whistle activated key chains it always conjured the image of Bond bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. 

Bond is bringing audiences back to cinema in droves, but it’s delivering so much more than box-office results. It’s the combined power of reaching an audience primed to pay attention, aligning with a ‘must-see’ moment in culture, and experiencing the all-encompassing impact and scale of cinema – undisputed gold for brands. And it’s exactly why we’re excited about the potential of comparative attention measures to help unravel the true value of AV media for clients.

This is why, in cinema, we’re going all in – Casino Royale style – on attention. We’ve inked an agreement with Amplified Intelligence (some might even think of Professor Karen Nelson-Field and her team as the industry’s very own Q!). In a global first for cinema, we will work with Amplified Intelligence to provide independently verified cinema attention metrics relative to other AV screens and formats. The results will be out early next year.

It’s a key part of our mission to prove the value of cinema relative to other screens. A journey beyond bland headline CPM’s and broken proxies of reach and impressions – into more meaningful pastures of real value-based metrics shifting focus to things that really matter…like outcomes. 

Viewability played a useful role by at least aligning digital platforms to a more comparable position against that of TV and Cinema, but still doesn’t give a picture of what channels do the heavy lifting.  That’s set to change with attention finally coming of age and now back in vogue like the iconic Aston Martin in No Time To Die.

Attention has the potential to create a more level playing field from the outset and provide a lens over what value should be assigned to channels beyond the headline price. The ultimate premise is that high active attention drives the greatest impact in absolute terms.

But, like Bond under laser interrogation by Goldfinger, attention may not reveal the whole story. In our view, the nuance of emotion, creativity, context, scale and congruency all play a role. It’s our gadgets we have on hand that give us a deeper analysis of AV screen media to establish a more outcome focused starting point when considering channels.

It’s still early days, and without giving any spoilers away, we are excited about the conversation moving on from cost metrics to outcomes that matter. We’re looking forward to Q’s knowledge removing the Spectre of flawed comparisons. We have every gadget we need to demonstrate what really counts: a big screen, great sound, no distractions, and real appointment to view, to name but a few. Combine that with Q’s / Professor Nelson-Field and her team’s knowledge, and the most effective channels will shine though. As they say, (media) Diamonds are Forever.



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