Announcement, April 2020
Announcement, April 2020
Announcement, April 2020
Announcement, April 2020
Tobii Pro Insight has lots of experience working in the retail environment, what have been the main differences for you working in this space with an Out of Home media owner?
Whilst there are a lot of similarities with retail projects, the major issue here (given the size of the mall and the amount of competition for attention) was to really think through the study design and ensure the participant experience was very natural and therefore realistic , in the context of how a person would experience a shopping mall visit. The natural behaviours also then allowed us to have a short interview with participants after the eye tracking, where we could use the mall eye tracking experience to shape and probe deeper to get at why they did some of the things they did on the 25 minute journey.
So overall, in discussions with Limited Space, a lot of thought went into the design phase : the route people would take, how we would recruit people, the briefing we would give people taking part. We know from the powerful insights generated that this preparatory design work was crucial.
Are there any findings from your previous experience which people in media might find interesting?
Well at a general level, what is really powerful is that we can both visually observe real life behaviour and measure it . So, we don’t have to rely on memory or subjective post rationalisation. And crucially, we can share the output with the whole range of stakeholders, in effect ‘bringing the consumer into the boardroom’.
Obviously, understanding the natural pattern of eye gaze is very important. For example, when resting, the eye typically stays looking ahead, rather than regularly or rapidly looking up/down. That has implications for exact placement and size of creative.
It is also vital to think about context : some spaces (such as lifts) offer a great opportunity to engage the consumer. The audience, though in the task of calling a lift, is captive and additionally the space has the ability to have creative at natural resting eye level.
There are also some myths or half-truths in this area (i.e. ‘eye level is buy level’, ‘red stands out’). These thoughts are not wholly untrue but somewhat simplistic as the context of the environment, the quality of the advertising and the nature of the individual and audience can all be different. We think there is science in the fields of vision and the way in which we process information and make decisions but it’s dangerous to have too many assumptions walking into any project.
Overall, our view is use what we know about human gaze to your advantage in advertising in term of format, creative and specific execution and location.
Investigating and measuring attention is helping us to understand how our media works. What makes eye-tracking so perfect for this task?
Above all, we believe that the real power of eye tracking is that our clients literally get to ‘see through their consumers’ eyes’.
At a fundamental level of attention is whether ‘you’ are even seen? Assuming you are, then we can measure and view how long that attention was, what were people drawn to and what level of engagement was taking place. All of that is observed behaviour , we don’t need to rely on memory recall , where we know people struggle to recall (e.g. a recent piece of research by Netquest in 2 countries showed only around 8% of people could correctly recall the last website they had looked at).
The additional power is at the end of the project we are able to interview participants based on the eye tracking and journey we have just witnessed. This means when we ask people, the focus of the discussion is much more tailored to what we know they have just looked at and they in turn can added the colour of ‘why’ they did what they did.
What struck you most when you observed the first participant in the Limited Space study?
When we briefed people, we gave them a route and a start and end point but they obviously decided precisely which line they would take, what speed they would walk at and what they would look at.
What became apparent very quickly is that the precise pathways people choose to walk are very different – they were rather like traffic flows for people. We saw a few patterns. This is key because it has implications for what they are likely to see in terms of media. One traffic pattern and key group (25% of people, overwhelmingly female) that we spotted very early was people who would hug the side of the mall walkway and their core focus was what was in the window – we mutually decided to name these people ‘window huggers’. From a media perspective, it was key because their ‘visual universe’ of what they could see was defined by this habit – for example, advertising in the middle of the mall walkway was simply not going to be seen. They typically spent 10% less time looking at all advertising, but they also perhaps create an opportunity in the spaces that are in their universe.
We also identified ‘scanners’, people who demonstrated more open scanning behaviour and tended to people watch. Then, there was a group that combined window hugging and scanning and a fourth and smallest group who were much more navigationally focussed.
The significance is their relative ‘visual universe’ was different in each case and most importantly their attention to advertising (as measured by time) was significantly different. We think this insight is really key to better understand impact of advertising going forward.
The other aspect that became very clear is understanding context – knowing the physical space of the location ( attention behaviours and advertising opportunity in a mall with 2 levels are likely to be very different from 6 levels), the local audience (their relationship with and usage of the mall, how they were feeling, their reasons for visiting) and the key elements of the space (shops, entertainment) that drive attention.
Given that people in their normal daily lives are exposed to so many different types of information and so much of it, what does a brand need to do to stand out?
Firstly, at a macro level, be it a brand, a retailer, an advertiser there are some common themes. Visual standout is the pre-requisite to be considered or bought so where you are placed is obviously key. Our visual preferences are not to look up and down too much, so the focus needs to be on eye line. In a world with lots vying for our attention, we feel that often ‘less is more’ - we often see websites, packs and advertising that just has too much information. The solution is often cleaner space that means the core elements are ‘larger’ and impactful.
For media, the general rules obviously also apply but we also think that dynamic and multi-sensory experiences undoubtedly drive attention and engagement. Our experience generally and specifically to the Limited Space project strongly point towards the importance of audio and moving image. The science is that multi-sensory approach drives engagement because it fires more neural pathways in the brain. We get excited, connected and closer to whatever the message is. The more we fire and open our neural pathways, the greater the likelihood of connection and a higher likelihood of that being stored in our memory.
Our viewpoint is there are plenty of opportunities in media to utilise multiple senses. That may be sound, having new innovative solutions or messages, moving images or just elements that really catch the eye.
Attention is key to a successful campaign: how long does someone need to engage with a campaign for their brain to recognise and process the information?
There is no definitive number , as there are so many considerations but as a reference point 2 seconds is a long time. Typically, we think people in business tend to overestimate how long true engagement is and needs to be but as an exercise if you sit still, everyone is quiet , then 10 seconds feels like ‘forever’. Another example is that the view is that people only require 0.05 of a second to form an opinion of a website. So as a rule of thumb, spending 2 seconds engaging with content is good and consequently small differences do matter. The other comment would be the nature of the attention are people focused on a singular point, gazing between or reading content – the type of gaze that eye tracking provides also help us understand true attention and engagement to the stimulus.
It is also worth saying that a time-based metric around attention only tells us so much. It’s very important but so too is the level of interaction and engagement. Once again, this is where great creative, innovation and a multi-sensory approach pay dividends.
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