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In an evolving media landscape we explore what is happening to consumer attention

The topic of attention has garnered a lot of attention in recent times; some say attention is in crisis. Combine this with the proliferation of technology able to measure our behaviour, we aren’t short of studies that measure attention. However, like many hot topics, attention and understanding it is not a new obsession and much can be learned from existing theory and research.

We were interested in attention because:

a) instinctively it feels like an important criterium for effective advertising

b) we were curious how the changing nature of the media landscape was influencing attention

As a start point we were keen to get a comprehensive view of the available theory and evidence so that we had a solid foundation for any new research. We believe, whilst it’s important to acknowledge the seismic changes in the media landscape ushered in by the digital era, it’s also important to consider the enduring nature of human behaviour.

Behavioural economics, now popularised in the advertising world, continually reminds us of this. This whitepaper, prepared by Bournemouth University, is our attempt to pull together all the existing thinking on attention. It is the first phase of a long-term project ‘Attention Please’. Our ambition with this programme of research is to shed new light on the topic of attention, unearthing useful insights and frameworks for advertisers and their agencies.

Ultimately, we want to make the link between attention and effectiveness more apparent so that attention as a topic can be fully appreciated as an important consideration for anyone involved in the business of advertising.

The research was conducted with PHD Media and Bournemouth University. Download the whitepaper to read the full report and findings. For more information, get in touch at insight@magnetic.media

*Mike Florence, Chief Strategy Officer, PHD Media presented the first phase of 'Attention Please' at Magnetic's annual conference, Spark on Wednesday 7th November. The deck is available to download and the write up of the morning event can be found here