New research from Inskin Media and Lumen has found that high-impact ad formats tailored for smartphones drive substantially higher attention (visual engagement) compared to standard mobile ad formats.

This is the first study to use cutting-edge technology from Lumen Research, which enables eye-tracking using just the smartphone camera.

Providing unique insight into mobile viewing behaviour, the study found that high-impact mobile formats garner more than 7 times the attention given to standard smartphone formats, resulting in 63 minutes of visual engagement per thousand impressions. This means that for a brand, the standard investment of just one CPM (cost per thousand impressions), could deliver more than an hour of visual engagement with its ad.

The data also showed that high-impact mobile formats have the ability to boost attention levels for standard smartphone ads, with the latter gaining six additional minutes of visual engagement time per thousand impressions following exposure to high-impact formats. Prior research has shown that brand recall ramps up after one second of visual engagement time with a display ad.

The boost in attention on smartphones is also consistent with previous desktop-based research from Inskin, which found that visual engagement with standard desktop formats rose significantly (39%) following exposure to a high-impact format – a process called ‘’amplification’’.

“This study is the most recent in Inskin’s long running investment in understanding attention,” said Adi Kishore, project lead and Insight Manager at Inskin Media. “We know from previous studies that attention is a strong indicator of brand uplift, and even conversion. This study helps us understand how mobile-optimised ad formats can dramatically boost attention on smartphones. It offers insight to planners increasingly focused on mobile and multiscreen campaigns, to leverage these effects without necessarily spending more.”

“With the majority of online time now spent on smartphones in the UK, it’s important for brands to clearly understand how mobile user behaviours differ from desktop,” said Mike Follett, CEO, Lumen Research. “Our research shows that designing mobile formats with the right user experience in mind is critical because intrusive advertising can reflect poorly on the brand, while formats not optimised for mobile may simply be ignored.”

“Some of the world’s fastest growing and most advanced mobile markets are in APAC, and smartphones are the primary connected device for most users in Asia,” said Darryl Choo, Head of Sales SEA at Inskin Media. “From a creative view and leveraging on the eye-tracking studies, we can isolate individual areas of interest to help us understand the general patterns of a reaction towards a video, logo, tagline or call-to-action. As such, it is critical that brands leverage formats that are optimised for driving attention on smartphones, because we know attention drives brand recall and purchase.”

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