A recent MADFest London webinar I attended focussed on ads & whether viewers really give a crap. On the panel were;  Mike Follett (MD at LUMEN – an eye tracking company) & Nick steel (Director of Growth Strategy & Insight at NOMAD Foods).

This blog is a brief overview of diving into consumer behaviour, understanding how the ads work & looking into the future of ads given the number of ad blocking software out there.

Top Takeaway?

Some people care about your ads, although only for about 2-5 seconds. If you haven’t grabbed them in that time, you’ve lost them. Those who don’t care about your ads, you’ll find they do care about the brands they buy from.


As advertisers, we don’t buy people’s attention, we have to earn. Attention is rare, people look at things & engage with things differently.

If you think of the process as an ‘Attention Funnel’:

A larger amount of people could see your ad, but a smaller proportion of those individuals actually see & view the ad.

Then of those views, how long is the average duration of views? This is down to the reality of attention.

We, as advertisers & marketers might be super excited about our ads, but people most likely won’t view them (*cries*).

Interestingly, viewability rates tend to be low on mobile, although, a higher percentage than desktop. However, research shows the average duration of views is shorter on mobile than desktop.

If we throw newspaper print ads into the mix, research shows that these have a much larger viewability rate. People are viewing them, & the duration of dwelling on the ad in the paper is slightly higher than mobile / desktop.

How Are Marketers Understanding How Their Ads Work?

What are they doing right & what are they doing wrong?!

A lot of us talk about how our ads work. Although determining whether it’s the right direction or not is largely down to behavioural economics. Our brains need something simple & easy to process. As the data shows, you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. Marketers need to make use of distinctive assets to capture the attention of the viewers & make it easy for them to watch the ad.

There needs to be a different approach for consumers in different stage of the funnel. The development of an ad campaign needs to go hand-in-hand with the media creative & also an understanding of the consumers behaviour.

Whilst attention to advertising might be fracturing a little bit, we need to work things so that we monitor consumer behaviour & continually analyse the insights so that we capture the right attention.

The Future?

A quick poll from the webinar showed what people thought on how advertisers will tell complex stories in the future, in a post-covid-19 world.


Looking at the results of this poll, it seems as though there’s a mix in responses. Simplifying the message we send out to consumers in our ads seems like a good idea. Considering the idea to invest in more interruptive ads, as Marketers & Advertisers, we can try this type of advertising, however the rise of the tools to prevent this might get in the way.