Daily news from online research no. 33868

ARF to define attention and validate its measurement

September 12, 2022

In New York, the trade organization Advertising Research Foundation has launched a new initiative called the ARF Attention Validation Project, which aims to “educate the market” about how different attention measurement solutions work and the extent to which they are replicable and of their “convergent validity”.

The association, which has more than 400 members of advertisers, agencies, research firms and media technology specialists, unveiled the project at its Attention 2022 event in Brooklyn, NY, which focuses on “the movement of measures of attention from the laboratory to applications in the field”. Initially, an advisory group, comprised of purchasers of attention/emotion measurement solutions and independent experts in fields such as media measurement and cognitive psychology, will help design and define the project and decide what questions to ask participating vendors.

In this second step, companies offering measures of attention and emotions will be asked to analyze a common set of advertising or program content, and the ARF will compare the results with those of classic neurometric measurements in the laboratory. Its output will include a final report with best practice recommendations, proposed standards for auditing organizations such as the MRC to adopt, and a list of key questions to help buyers evaluate potential suppliers.

Three specific areas to address are:

  1. Different definitions of attention and emotion, their relationship to direct measures of neurometric response, and their validity as creative evaluation tools and as predictors of commercial performance of advertisements or content
  2. The validity, reliability and replicability of synthetic measures of attention, based on AI and machine learning approaches, and
  3. The validity of attention measures (conventional or AI-based) for benchmarking media as vehicles for ad placement.

ARF CEO and President Scott McDonald (pictured) comments: “In recent years there has been a growing interest in direct measures of cognitive and emotional response to advertising. As a result, a number of new services have entered the market with different approaches to measuring attention and/or emotional responses to advertisements. This enthusiasm has prompted some to push to incorporate these measures into next-gen currencies for media buying. But, we still don’t know enough about the reliability and validity of these measures and their legitimate application to advertising and media evaluation. The ARF believes that these discussions of attention-based currencies are premature in the absence of better information about the validity, reliability, and predictive power of these metrics. This is what this study seeks to address”.

Website: www.thearf.org.

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, unless otherwise noted.

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