Study Reveals What Drives Attention From CTV Ads

Share this:

We know that attention is a critical metric for advertising, especially on channels like connected TV (CTV), where advertisers are not only trying to reach their target audiences, but also to engage them to drive real business outcomes. We also know that it’s incredibly difficult to determine what, exactly, drives more attention from CTV ads.

But the truths we’ve known for years could be changing, based on the results of a new study by the neuromarketing and eye-tracking artificial intelligence technology provider Neurons

According to Neurons researchers, the introduction of ads delivered sequentially — first on CTV then on personal devices — leads to significantly higher rates of attention and emotional association. The Neurons study found that custom, interactive connected TV ads delivered sequentially result in a 56% increase in attention and a 23% increase in emotional association. 

Considering CTV ad spend hit a record-breaking $1 billion last year, the topic of how to optimize campaigns on the channel to drive performance has never been more relevant.

Blending neuroscience and machine learning, Neurons researchers were able to measure subconscious audience responses in areas like attention, emotion, cognition and memory, and enhancing ad performance optimization. Researchers worked in partnership with, a CTV and video advertising technology company, to investigate whether’s TV Magnify solution and creative ad units were able to retain user attention more effectively than standard connected CTV ads. 

In addition to increasing brand recall, researchers found that ads influenced key outcomes, like purchase intent, site traffic, and recommendations. Advertisers with CTV ads delivered sequentially also saw a 12% increase in the likelihood of a consumer visiting a company website and a 50% increase in the likelihood of a consumer opening an account with the advertiser.

“When using the Neurons subconscious four-power model to analyze connected TV experiences, we find many important differences between a standard CTV advertisement and VDX ad units. One crucial difference is the power to keep people’s attention when viewing,” said Mike Storm, chief operating officer at Neurons. “After seven seconds, we see a critical drop-off point, where the VDX CTV customized ad manages to keep people engaged far longer as they move to other important elements on the screen.”’s TV Magnify solution was originally developed to help brands complement their upper-funnel broadcast advertising with mid- funnel TV and video ads. It delivers ads sequentially, first on CTV, then on personal devices. 

VDX creative ad units also feature interactive elements to help consumers connect with brand messaging. For example, a QR code on a CTV ad can drive users to a mobile experience for more information about a brand’s products, or an interactive tab can be setup to include elements like product galleries, info galleries, maps, or store locators.

Storm said the power of VDX lies in the connection between customized CTV ads and the additional interactive exposures.

“With TV Magnify, we find an increase of 56% attention time in seconds and a 17% memory performance compared to traditional CTV standalone,” he said. “Added to the subconscious behaviors, there is a high stated connection to taking action based on the advertisement, leading to stronger impact in the long run.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.