Fairfax explores attention economy for advertisers

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 23 January 2017

Fairfax has found advertisers only have milliseconds to capture the attention of their audience online.

Through a study of smh.com.au, Fairfax analysed the visual behaviour of the site’s readers across desktop and smartphone to determine the content that draws the most attention. It has released the findings in the form of a 360° video.

It identified that the size of an ad matters, but the position is king and native content drives significantly higher ad recall.

A total of 60% of readers expressed overall acceptance of native advertising if the content is good, with 30% of people saying they’d be suspicious of branded content. WA Tourism, SA Tourism and Ford had the best performing branded content.

The insight segments from the 360° video have been split into individual 30-second clips and are being promoted through a social media campaign, targeted at advertising audiences across Facebook and LinkedIn.

Fairfax commercial director Tom Armstrong says the study enables Fairfax to evolve ad solutions across its digital news mastheads and therefore delivering more engaged audiences for clients.

“This study provides our advertisers with insights about the most effective formats and placements, the value of native, and guidelines for creative to ensure brands create more effective experiences for audiences across our network," he says.

The study used heat maps of the SMH smartphone and desktop homepage to demonstrate what gets consumer attention in the first 10 seconds of being on the page.

Flight Centre ads attracted the most attention throughout the study, due to clear, simple messaging and strong branding.
Other ads that captured attention on the SMH included Tiffany & Co, David Jones, McDonald’s and NSW Government.


Fairfax trade marketing director Lise Kay says: “When we created this campaign, we were committed to the creative and the format being as innovative as the study itself.

"The interactive 360° video, which can be viewed on smartphone or desktop, encourages our clients to engage and interact with the research findings and provides visual proof of the advertising formats and creative that captured audiences’ attention.”


You can review the full report here.

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