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The Power of Attention and Emotion AI: Kantar and Affectiva Webinar Insights


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In a recent joint webinar, Duncan Southgate, overseeing Global Creative Effectiveness Solutions at Kantar, took the audience on a journey exploring the crucial role of attention in advertising. Joined by Affectia's Global Managing Director of Media Analytics Graham Page, and Ecem Erdem, a Creative Expert in the Kantar Global Thought Leadership team, the webinar delved into the current state of the industry, revealing insights on how attention impacts creative effectiveness and media planning. 

Duncan Southgate opened the discussion by highlighting the industry's growing interest in attention, quoting Scott McDonald of the Advertising Research Foundation, who emphasized the need for further empirical investigation into the critical role attention plays in advertising effectiveness. The session also shed light on the ongoing ARS Attention Validation Initiative, where Kantar and Affectiva are proud partners, collaborating with industry leaders like Coca-Cola's Greg Farrow to deepen understanding.

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Industry Beliefs and Survey Insights:

A survey of global marketers revealed a unanimous belief in the importance of attention, with a majority emphasizing its influence on both creative and media effectiveness. The session focused on the creative aspect, with slightly fewer marketers attributing attention's influence to media planning. The debate on whether attention will become a media buying currency was left open, reflecting the ongoing evolution in the industry's perception.

Measuring Attention: Going Beyond Viewability:

Despite the industry's acknowledgment of attention's importance, Duncan Southgate highlighted a significant disconnect in how attention is measured. While behavioral metrics are widely used, they were challenged as mere proxies for human attention. Eye tracking, survey measures, and facial coding AI emerged as the three key options, with facial coding gaining momentum as a scalable and effective technology for capturing visual attention.

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Facial Coding AI: A Gateway to Deeper Insights

Graham Page from Affectiva elaborated on how facial coding, when applied to over 50,000 video ads, can provide new attention insights at scale. The Kantar Link database demonstrated that passive attention measures, coupled with facial expressiveness indicating active attention, correlate strongly with sales outcomes. Incorporating attitudinal responses further enhanced the relationship between attention and sales effectiveness, offering a comprehensive understanding of ad performance.

Digital Ads and the Attention Challenge:

Duncan Southgate emphasized the increasing importance of attention for digital ads. The webinar showcased data from the Kantar Link database, revealing that achieving both high passive and active attention for digital ads significantly boosts short-term sales likelihood. The findings indicated that optimizing attention for digital ads can result in higher sales returns, making it a critical focus for marketers.

The Bottom Line

As the joint webinar between Kantar and Affectiva concluded, the spotlight remained on the transformative potential of attention and Emotion AI in optimizing creative effectiveness. The insights shared during the session set the stage for marketers to navigate the attention challenge, ensuring their campaigns resonate with audiences and deliver impactful results. Stay tuned for more updates as the industry continues to explore the evolving landscape of attention and Emotion AI.

To see the full webinar presentation, download the recording below

Kantar Affectiva Attention in Advertising

Emotion AI Media Analytics Facial Coding AI