The fact that the media landscape today is vastly more fragmented, complex, and cluttered than in the past, is unquestionable. The reality that the industry has not adequately adapted to this, is uncomfortable.

Herbert Simon, the 1970s Nobel Prize winning economist, coined the term “Attention Economy” saying: “What information consumes is the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”.  Fast forward for today, and this statement could not be more relevant of the media landscape. Yet the fundamentals of how the industry approaches media planning and buying has not evolved.  Current value systems still consider all impressions equally, regardless of how much attention they receive.  Furthermore, there’s been a proliferation of device-centric metrics that are easily measurable and proxies for ‘attention’, but they do not represent a meaningful exposure.

Unlocking the Currency of Attention

In the latest phase of attention research with Lumen Research, TVision, and Amplified Intelligence, dentsu set up large scale eye-tracking panels to build our proprietary attention model. This model captures the drivers of attention, as well as the effectiveness of attention across platforms, channels, and formats. The output of this model are a massive database of attention metrics that can be used for cross-channel planning.

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The Attention Economy

4,000+ advertising messages hit us daily. Across multiple platforms, devices and channels. It’s a battleground for attention – and yet we continue to trade on impressions...We know the cost, the reach but do we know the real value of ads? Have they even been seen? What was their impact? Our aim is to define a new value system and ultimately challenge the way the industry trades, by valuing what is likely to be ‘delivered’, over what is ‘bought’. Read more in our report.

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