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Facebook on Combating Consumer “Attention Drift” with Mobile Video

Facebook on Combating Consumer “Attention Drift” with Mobile Video


“This complexity poses a big challenge for advertisers”

blog post by Facebook notes that while traditional TV ads are still primarily based on non-skippable 30-second spots, there is “no singular video ad on mobile”.

As a result, advertisers should bear in mind that consumer attention spans differ between this new array of mobile-centred formats and adapt their messaging accordingly.

Facebook details these formats, which appear on its platform, and their pros and cons in the graph below.

According to the social network, where consumer attention spans tend to suffer most is on the news feed owed to dilution by surrounding content. However, ads in the feed allow advertisers to form “deeper connections” if an ad or message is communicated quickly, offering potentially high reach and scale.

Non-skippable ads are closest to a TV ad experience, says Facebook, as ads are inserted into a video a person chose to watch.

“People are in a watching mood, so sound is often on and many people watch ads to the end. Drop-offs and annoyance grow strongly with ad length. Since nothing is unskippable anymore, six second and 15 second ads are emerging as cross-platform standards.”

Newest platform Stories falls similar to feeds in that higher attention is required due to ads being among other pieces of content. However, research highlights ads are more visually appealing when sequenced with stories for a more engaging narrative.

Shorter attention ads

With mobile advertising on the rise - US mobile ad spend is projected to grow to within 10% of TV spend this year according to Facebook’s own research - the network is urging advertisers to rethink the medium and push for more shorter, attention-grabbing ads.

“There is a variety of unique experiences, each requiring a different approach. This complexity poses a big challenge for advertisers,” said Mark Rabkin, vice president, ads & business platform for Facebook.

TV following suit

According to Facebook, TV advertising isn’t escaping the impact of consumers’ shift to mobile.

“A peek into any living room shows that people watch television and their phones at the same time, and research confirms that people pay attention to TV and mobile ads in much the same way,” reads the post.

As a result, TV networks are beginning to run six-second spots “straight from the mobile playbook”.

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Mustafa Mirreh

Mustafa Mirreh

Mustafa is a senior journalist at PerformanceIN. Reporting on the latest day-to-day news and updates from the world of performance marketing, while also doing social media promotion, live reporting of events, article features and interviewing key industry players.


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