Sorin, Max and Mike

Next in Media Podcast: Mars & Realeyes on Attention’s Business Impact

Michael Shields' Next in Media podcast hosted our VP of growth and marketing Max Kalehoff and Sorin Patilinet, Senior Director Consumer Insights at our partner Mars.  

They discussed how our combined work on attention measurement has helped Mars drive advertising efficiency and business outcomes, and Max shared some insights from the groundbreaking study done in partnership with Meta and Bill Harvey that was released at April's ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2023 event.   

You can listen to the podcast below and read some excerpts, which have been summarized 

How Mars Inc. Approaches Measurement 

Sorin Patilinet: Execution differs by market and product segment, but we’re all looking for quality of growth that is measurable. We’re obsessed with measurement and how to measure correctly. I’ve been a bit proponent of behavioral data. We’re aiming for business outcomes and other proxies that are very much linked to those business outcomes.  


What is Realeyes’ approach?   

Max Kalehoff: We’ve got the best visual sensing technology in the world; that any app can integrate into the OS, and a number of products that serve the advertising industry. We came out of the gate zigging where the rest of the industry was zagging, by focusing on creative attention when they were focused on media attention.

This is because we believe creative is the biggest lever to influence business outcomes. Both creative and media matter; you can’t have advertising work without both. We see attention as a valuable a signal for performing arbitrage and optimizing better creative and media spend; getting the maximum impact. 

Obviously, those people who work in the adtech industry are super enthusiastic about it because it's new, and this is something that could potentially revolutionize the way advertising is done. But then you have other people who are a little more careful with how enthusiastic they are about it and in accepting it as a new KPI that can be used going forward.  


Addressing the Skeptics’ Argument That Attention is Hard to Scale  

Max Kalehoff: In terms of scale, the Internet brought forth this huge promise of being able to measure anything. There’s a lot of interaction data, clickthrough, video completion rates. The truth is those interaction metrics that we consider scale that folks have been using – it doesn’t always reliably predict business outcomes. Visual attention data – the reactions people have – become high-quality ground-truth data.

There are two ways to think about the data: high-quality high-fidelity human data and on the opposite side, you have the impression proxy data, cookie-based data, that the walled gardens shared with you. We see a future where both attention data and impression proxy data will meet in the middle and provide both high fidelity and widely available high-scale proxy data. The future around media measurement will become more hybrid.  


How do you think about attention? 

Sorin Patilinet: Our first AHA moment in our collaboration with Realeyes was when we realized how little attention was paid to our ads. We’ve learned the hard way that we want attention to come at the beginning. We introduce our brand as soon as possible in the story because we don’t have a lot of time. We can’t change consumer behavior. Even in six-second ads and bumpers, there’s “skipping” via closing the browser. We have to optimize within that format. I love that attention offers another lens alongside CPMs.  

Max Kalehoff: On average, people are trying to avoid ads. But when you have those select people who lean in and your message resonates with them, that’s where the second-by-second measurement and full ad duration can really create an impact.