If a million trees fall in the forest and nobody hears them, do they make a sound? They might, but does it matter? New research from Nielsen and Ipsos proves that attention differs across screens and mere exposure isn’t enough—ads need to be noticed, watched, and heard to maximize impact.
<h2>Attention to ads differs greatly across screens</h2> <p>According to recent Ipsos eye-tracking research, the majority of TV advertising time (55%) is not paid attention to due to multitasking, switching channels, and fast-forwarding.</p> <p>On the other hand, according to the same study, YouTube mobile ads command viewers' attention: Ipsos found that paid YouTube mobile advertising is 84% more likely to receive attention than TV advertising.</p> <h2>There's a difference in attention between video platforms and platforms that happen to show video</h2> <p>According to Nielsen's new "Impact of Attention" research, 2.4X more attention was paid to ads when the ads were shown on platforms with full sight and sound, compared to platforms with audio off and subtitles.</p> <p>According to the same study, attention paid to video ads on YouTube was 1.8X higher than on social media platforms.</p> <h2>Attention equals impact</h2> <p>According to Nielsen, attention paid to advertising is significantly correlated with ad recall for that advertising.</p> <p>YouTube's own data shows that users who both see and hear ads experience higher brand awareness, higher ad recall, and higher consideration than those who only see or only hear ads.</p> <p>According to YouTube data, users who watch ads for more than three seconds experience higher brand awareness, higher ad recall, and higher consideration.</p> <h2>Time to think beyond reach?</h2> <p>With the proliferation in devices, screens, and platforms, reach abounds. But reach is worthless without attention, like trees falling in a lonely forest. Perhaps it's time for the industry to consider the difference between reach and attentive reach. For more attention research check out [insert shortlink: g.co/ipsosattention] and [insert shortlink: g.co/youtubeattention].</p>