Capturing attention share in a cross-screen world

Client: Microsoft | Industry: Media & Technology | Market: Canada

Background Challenge

In a media landscape where consumers have unlimited content options and spend significant chunks of their day in front of multiple screens, understanding the changing dynamics of attention has never been more essential:
  • What content drives tune-in? How should advertisers create content for different screens? What’s the role of emotion in content and advertising? How does digital media consumption impact attention spans?

Approach

What content drives tune-in? How should advertisers create content for different screens? What’s the role of emotion in content and advertising? How does digital media consumption impact attention spans?
The content-media stations were: Mobile, Laptop, Tablet, TV and Multi-screen (where TV was playing but participants were invited to peruse their phones/tablets, etc). Tasks included ‘taking a selfie’, watching TV, writing an email, searching, shopping, watching video and reading an article, among others (screen-dependent). Participants were also afforded free time for each station to do what they wished.
Participants played several attention games, evaluating their selective, alternating and sustained attention, and completed a survey that asked about behavioural and media consumption activity. Participants were also filmed at each station to capture behaviour linked with non-conscious response.
All data sets – content, neural response, attention game results and profile questionnaire – were linked by individual, and aggregated and analyzed by all variables to determine.

Findings and Results

Among the highlights were: 1) identifying the average amount of attention various segments will commit to content on each screen; 2) how best to create content to capture attention share on specific screens; 3) How different screens can help enhance the persuasiveness of communications; and 4) how live broadcasters can best create content to capture the attention of multi-screeners. Full study can be found here.