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ARF begins phase one of attention validation initiative

March 21, 2023

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has begun the process of mapping the current landscape of attention measurement providers to create an Attention Atlas as part of the ARF Attention Validation Initiative.

The ARF Attention Validation Initiative is an empirically-based evaluation of the rapidly developing marketing for attention measurement and prediction that is being conducted in three phases. Following the development of the Attention Atlas– which aims to add transparency to vendors’ positioning, methods, and deliverables– phases two and three will focus on Creative Attention and Media Attention solutions.

“In order to compile this Atlas, we hope to hear from all the suppliers of novel attention measurement, or products that compete in that space, to create a full picture of the ecosystem,” said Ethan Rapp, Director of ARF Attention Validation Project. “We encourage research suppliers, media companies or agencies that have created their own novel approach to measuring or predicting attention in any advertising media to participate in our initiative.”

This preliminary mapping of the market – who the players are, what and how they measure – will be published during the ARF’s annual audience measurement and conference, AUDIENCExSCIENCE, on April 25th-26th.

“Attention is one of, if not the most, critical component of the ARF Model of Advertising Effectiveness but it is also one which has not been empirically studied,” said Scott McDonald, CEO and President at ARF.  “As new attention measurement services come to market, the industry has been asking us to help them gain transparency into the validity, reliability and predictive power of these measures. This Atlas will be the first step in helping marketers make more informed decisions around choosing a method and supplier– clearly outlining the solutions’ rightful application to advertising and media evaluation.”

Supporting the ARF Attention Validation Initiative is both an Academic Advisory Committee and a Brand Steering Committee, which include senior researchers and practitioners from Coca-Cola, LinkedIn/Microsoft, MARS, McDonalds and The Attention Council, among others. The committees devised the RFI questionnaire used to collect information on all the methodologies, approaches, and business practices from the attention measurement ecosphere.

“This is an initiative that we are passionate about given the growing interest in attention metrics and the promise of new more accurate metrics,” said Greg Pharo, Global Senior Director for Coca-Cola. “With attention shifting from tactic to strategy across global marketing practices, it is vital to understand exactly how these solutions work and their impacts on the industry, to help advertisers secure better outcomes including avoiding ad waste.”

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