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Pay Attention!

Pay Attention!

Magazines’ Role in the Modern Media Mix

In Brief

In today’s media landscape attention is hugely important. Attention to advertising matters more than it ever has. There are more times and places where we can capture the consumer‘s attention, yet numerous studies show attention to advertising is declining. Why? Because attention is a finite resource and we are in danger of over exploiting it. When it comes to attention to advertising, it seems the more attention we try to squeeze out of consumers, the more they find ways to defend against it. Digital detox, banner blindness and adblocking are all symptoms of an advertising ecosystem that is overloaded. In our rush to embrace all the new ways we can reach the consumer, to continually mine and measure this using the new tools of digitalisation and data, we have focused too heavily on eyeballs. This report explores how different media compare when it comes to quality attention and looks at the opportunity for advertisers, scrutinising the value of attention from a cost perspective.

Key Findings

  • Measuring attention is complex; no single study will be able to provide us with the full picture, this report uses survey data, eye tracking analysis and neuroscience evidence, as well as referencing a number of theories on attention
  • Targeted media such as magazines, newspapers and cinema command the most focused top down attention (Attention Please)
  • 92 percent of readers agree magazine content online is time well spent, revealing that we need to consider the content experience not just the channel when it comes to attention (PAMCo)
  • Attention to media content and attention to advertising is often different, but 57 percent of consumers stated that magazine advertising is part of the experience, the highest score for any channel (Attention Please)
  • Consumers find magazine advertising to be more relevant than advertising in any other channel (Attention Please)
  • Magazines cover subjects that really matter to their audience and this passion-driven consumption provides a highly attentive audience.
  • Context plays a role in attention. Even if you reach the right people with the right message, they can be more of less receptive to it based on how salient parts of their identity are at the time – a factor affected by media context (Passion Pays)
  • Magazines achieve high levels of trust across a range of content areas and an average trust score of 82 percent in print and 84 percent online (PAMCo)
  • You might expect quality attention to come at a premium. You only need to look at average planning costs for 16-34’s, ABC1s and HH+CH to see this is not the case (Attention Please)

Implications for Advertisers

Not all reach is equal, and now is the time to consider quality attention. We need to start to prioritise environments where ad avoidance is low. These spaces where advertising is welcome to provide an under-appreciated value.

Attention comes in many forms, but the type of attention that magazines offer warrants more serious consideration. Magazines provide high quality attention that is immersive and focused, more importantly attention to their advertising is one of the highest. Magazines offer advertisers a high attention environment, which translates into high attention to the message. This is because magazines  provide: 

  • A positive content and advertising experience 
  • A relevant context that enhances receptivity to advertising
  • A highly trusted environment 

With magazines, advertising is not rejected, it is seen as a positive part of the experience. What’s more, this high-quality attention doesn’t need to be expensive. If you take price into consideration, you actually pay less for more attention with magazines

Thought leadership on attention which accompanied the research

The Qualia of Attention

Faris Yakob: Co-Founder, Genius/Steals

Trust, quality of attention and brands

Bob Wootton: Founder, Deconstruction

Leading the attention economy

Abby Carvosso: Group Managing Director, Bauer Media