Attention-Optimised Digital Ads Produce 63% Less CO2

Pollution mixed together with on going bushfire smoke in Victoria, Melbourne

the average digital ad campaign releases more than five tons of carbon atmosphere but by removing advertising from domains where attention time is below 0.5 seconds, emissions fell by an average of 63 per cent while the average attention time per impression grew by nearly 40 per cent.

Playground xyz looked at 45 million ad impressions and found that around 40 per cent of online ads are not viewed, despite being presented on the screen.

The study also found that by removing the top 20 per cent of most polluting web domains from ad campaigns, advertisers could reduce emissions by almost 60 per cent.

“To date, attention signals have been well-established metrics capable of informing advertising effectiveness, but the current data supports the notion that beyond increasing effectiveness, attention measurement presents opportunities for advertisers to be more sustainable. Historically, it has been inherently difficult to measure online emissions and optimise digital advertising towards decreasing it. However, combined with solutions from the likes of Scope3, attention signals are a metric through which more environmentally conscientious advertising becomes the expected standard,” said Dr Shannon Bosshard, Playground’s lead scientist who led the study.

Playground xyz used eye-tracking panel data and AI to understand attention time —  essentially how many seconds an ad is actually viewed. 

June Cheung, head of JAPAC at Scope3 added: “The study proves our industry can do good for the planet but also improve the effectiveness of media investments by adding a carbon lens. People often ask, by being sustainable will we be sacrificing performance and profits? The answer is no, sustainability offers an opportunity for us to optimise towards effectiveness e.g. attention and in turn reduce carbon emissions. I’m optimistic our industry will continue to find ways like Playground xyz to be both sustainable and effective”

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