The attention revolution and the role for audio

Most online ad placements do not meet the attention memory threshold as 85% of ads are viewed for less than 2.5 seconds

This highly informative morning session focused on a topic that is increasingly become critically important to advertisers and agencies -measuring the real impact of advertising on people. Karen Nelson-Field, the founder of Amplified Intelligence spoke about how the media ecosystem was broken, and that advertisers are paying for an opportunity-to-see but proxy measures fail to measure audience attention.  She explained that the attention economy is the study of in-attention and how people make decision shortcuts to avoid information overload and what impact these decision shortcuts have. 

Karen showed that if you actually look at how people view ads on media, it is a far cry from the sustained and undivided attention marketers idealise. 

The data shows that people switch in and out of active, passive and non-attention across the entire course of time-in-view. Most online ad placements do not meet the attention memory threshold as 85% of ads are viewed for less than 2.5 seconds. Karen added that reach might be the basic premise to brand growth but it does not work if people are not paying enough active attention.


Karen explained that Amplified Intelligence are now looking at the role audio plays in this area and how they can translate visual attention to an audio framework. They are in the market now in Australia looking at broadcast radio and digital streaming and are starting to see positive results.


We also heard from Peter Pynta, CEO of Neuro-Insight APAC about the science around how media and creative content is actually consumed.  And that only 10% of human processing is conscious, explicit access to recall while 90% is implicit memory, intuitive, lying in the subconscious. When it comes to the drivers of human decision-making, all of our responses, whether conscious or subconscious have the potential to drive behaviour and influence decision making. So, whether people can recall through prompted or unprompted surveys is largely irrelevant because all responses, conscious and subconscious drive behaviour.


Peter explained that a key metric to measure impact on consumer decision making is long term memory encoding and there is a strong correlation between long term memory encoding and real-world sales. Key factors that drive long term memory encoding include sight, sound, creative, content and storytelling. Peter talked about how audio can add so much meaning to brand’s communication. And that while Audio may be consumed passively, it is very powerfully encoded into long term memory. Peter also referenced a UK study that showed that there was a 28% uplift in long term memory for brands heard in a relevant context to a task that the listener was doing. Peter also added that blending into the fabric of the surrounding context has a significant impact on long term memory encoding and decision-making.

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Around 75% of online ads that advertisers pay for, against the currency they trust, don't deliver the value they believe they do

Professor Karen Nelson-Field


of online ads are viewed for less than 2.5 seconds


of decision-making lives within the subconscious


stronger branding in long term memory when radio ads in context

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Download presentation here

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