‘The Mind of The Viewer,’ At Home

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The Advertising Research Federation (ARF) recently concluded its annual conference in New York, and at the event the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) unveiled its findings from the second of a two-phased neuroscience-based study designed to better understand how consumers view television programming and advertising in a multi-platform world.


The in-home phase of the study,  “The Mind of the Viewer,” reached one key conclusion: Networks and brands have opportunities to engage with viewers. But, it is important to understand how different types of distractions compete for viewer attention.

In this naturalistic study, viewers were distracted nearly 48% of the time while the TV was on, whether by gazing at a second screen or engaging in other activities.

Importantly, the second screen was the predominant competitor for viewer attention, accounting for nearly half of all distractions.

Yet, the presence of a second screen minimized the incidence of channel changing while the presence of a co-viewer not only reduced the amount of time spent on second-screen devices, it also increased emotional response while ads were on the TV by more than 25%.

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