Yan Liu - TVision

Why CTV is the Perfect Place to Experiment with Attention Measurement

TVision’s Liu discusses what clients want from attention metrics, attention measurement’s big opportunity with CTV, and shares results from a Realeyes-TVision study on how creative and media attention measurement work together.


Why is attention important, especially in the world of advertising and marketing?   

We're at the end of 2022, and my wish for next year is that nobody can ask me this question again, because this is such an obvious question. We are all in the marketing industry. The only reason why we are running advertisements and spending any media budget is to get all this attention. We're not spending those budgets just for the sake of impressions and just creating some commercials that nobody is going to see.

We really want to get all this attention. That's, in my opinion, is the only purpose of any marketing activity. If we’re able to measure that, why not use attention measurement as the main metrics that are optimized to understand the effectiveness of our ads. Luckily, we now have the technology to measure attention accurately. Therefore, it’s become even more important and more feasible for people to utilize attention. 

      We have already passed the research or lab phase. Now it's about how to capture attention metrics in the wild at a large scale, and how to utilize that data in everyday marketing activities for more brands.  


There's been a lot of talk this year about moving attention from the research lab to practical applications. Do you feel we're in a good place where every brand and their agencies should have the opportunity to measure attention today?

Companies like Realeyes and TVision have been doing this for already quite some time, right? I think a lot of the study was like a proof of concept for people to understand how to get value out of the attention metrics. But now the use case or the workflow of attention metrics has improved quite a bit.

We have close to a 14,000-person panel in the US collecting attention data 24-7. That's a lot of data. It's not a small focus group interview anymore. This is a nationally representative, large-scale capturing of data at a second-by-second level on audience attention.

This is definitely a large enough stable data set for people to use for actual planning optimization. And now we have many clients actually doing that. I'm really excited about the CTV space.

The data is there for linear but the planning cycle is too long, but for CTV, people can activate and optimize at each campaign level, and they can see impact immediately, and they can tie this back to the performance metrics, which can be sales or lower funnel metrics. It's much easier for advertisers to see the outcome of optimizing using attention.

We have already passed the research or lab phase. Now it's about how to capture attention metrics in the wild at a large scale, and how to utilize that data in everyday marketing activities for more brands.


Should creative attention and media attention be working together? And what's the best way for organizations to think about those two intersect?

We strongly believe both creative and media play important roles in the attention journey. The study we did with Realeyes to really understand the impact between the creative and media demonstrated this. We found some interesting insights. When the creative performance is not that good, if you put that into a very premium video environment you can potentially achieve better performance than high-quality creative, which was quite interesting.

Another key thing we found out is no matter how good the creative is, if you keep running the same creative for too many times, it will eventually wear out. We believe you need to optimize both creative and the media to get the maximum value out of attention metrics to deliver the best outcome for your marketing campaigns.


What's the best advice for a company that really wants to get their company up to speed on attention? 

Attention metrics are definitely getting traction in the last year or so and a lot of people are really interested in running some kind of attention-based optimization process. But I sometimes hear push back that attention doesn’t have Out of Home or some other small piece where attention metrics isn’t completely buttoned up. I do admit attention metrics are still a new concept, and not everything is perfect.

However, we do believe attention metrics have a lot of value, and it's worth it for everyone to run a study to understand how your organization can use attention metrics. Going back to my CTV excitement, I do think at a campaign level, it's much easier for you to try and measure based on attention metrics because your investment level is much smaller and there's really nothing you're going to lose by using attention metrics.

We appreciate the partnership with Realeyes and other attention leaders in the industry and I believe 2023 will be a wonderful year for all of us.

(This interview transcript has been edited for clarity and length.)