National CineMedia publishes first cinema attention study by Lumen


Cinema advertising network National CineMedia (NCM) has announced the release of the first US cinema attention measurement study conducted by Lumen, the UK-based technology company for attention measurement, in collaboration with dentsu, an agency leader in attention.

The study finds that ads played in cinemas ranked number one for consumer attention when measured against all other video platforms.

Other key insights include: 

  • Greater attention score: Cinema attention scores were four to seven times greater than all other video channels including TV, CTV, social and digital ads, across a variety of brands and categories.
  • Significantly more consumers watching: Two-and-a-half times more consumers watched ads playing in cinema compared to TV and CTV – 97% for cinema ads versus 38% for TV and 35% for CTV ads.
  • Longer duration: Consumers watched cinema ads for a longer duration compared to other video platforms – three times more than for TV and CTV and up to ten times more than social media.
  • Correlation with recall and choice: A direct correlation was found between attention metrics and brand recall and brand choice – higher attention metrics lead directly to enhanced performance of the advertising, which can result in increased sales lift, foot traffic and app downloads.

The study used Lumen’s proprietary eye-tracking technology to determine attention metrics and applied questionnaires and brand-choice methodologies to correlate the impact of the ad attention on subsequent recall and intention to purchase.

Wendy’s, adidas and 10 other brands across retail, automotive, apparel, CPG, QSR, telecom, entertainment and pharma participated in the study.

NCM’s cinema attention metrics will enable dentsu to determine the value of that attention, having combined it with cost and recall scores, and compare it to other channels and platforms in their broader database.

Their teams will now be able to include cinema as part of the overall decision-making process using those metrics and benchmarks.

“As we celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of our dentsu Attention Economy initiative, we know that attention metrics can increase the effectiveness of media plans and we are eager for broader adoption across the industry.

“We’re thrilled that NCM has taken this step to expand the industry’s overall understanding of attention by testing in cinema, and the results speak for themselves.

“With a proven, captive and attentive audience, we can leverage the attention data we have to understand how to incorporate cinema as part of an overall channel mix,” said Joanne Leong, VP, Global Partnerships & Planning at dentsu.

“If there’s one thing we’ve learned over more than ten years tracking attention metrics, it’s that you never know what advertisement or medium will be the most engaging for consumers.

Mike Follett, Managing Director of Lumen Research, said: “We are thrilled to have worked with NCM to track cinemagoers’ attention when viewing ads in the cinema.

“This important study will help shape how advertisers view their in-cinema advertising strategy,”

Mike Rosen, Chief Revenue Officer at NCM, said: We are seeing the marketplace start to shift from the long-time legacy metric of exposure to the more relevant new measure of attention when analysing the relative value of media platforms.

“Lumen’s new attention study proves what we have always believed – that cinema advertising is the best medium for brands to reach and engage our young, diverse, and highly valuable audience”.