News & events

Lumen eye-tracking: Who won Christmas 2017?

How did Christmas ads from brands including Sainsbury's, Iceland, McDonald's and Sky perform according to Lumen eye-tracking research?

Newsworks partnered with Lumen for an investigation into the effectiveness of Christmas advertising over the 2017 festive period. In a bespoke piece of research, Lumen Research used its eye-tracking technology to test the public’s reaction to Christmas ads in newsbrands, concentrating on standout (whether or not the ad is seen) and engagement (average dwell times), as well as reporting on ad recall.

Our three-day competition 'The 12 ads of Christmas' showcased some particularly strong seasonal ads.

Iceland - the7stars

Iceland's witty creative, which achieved 97% standout and an average dwell time of 4.4 seconds, was the most looked at ad, and it was looked at for the longest time on average among all of the ads that were tested. (All ads tested were either single page or smaller).

McDonald's - OMD UK

McDonald's 'spiced cookie latte' ad was another that cut through successfully, attaining a standout score of 97%, way above the 71% norm for similar ad formats and placements.

Sainsbury's - PHD

Sainsbury's cheesy creative was a sing-a-long hit, with 93% standout and a dwell time almost 25% above the average.

Sky - MediaCom

As well as the competition winning retail ads, Sky's festive football ad performed exceptionally well, achieving 97% standout and a dwell time of 3.2 seconds, a 60% increase on the overall average.

Asda, Lidl and Tesco's seasonal creative also achieved 90%+ standout and exceeded average dwell times.

In the murky, impression based world of modern digital advertising, getting an ad seen by a human eye as opposed to a bot can be an achievement in itself. However for print - and print newsbrands in particular - the story is very different. Existing Lumen research tells us that 75% of readers look at each print ad on average. It’s important to remember that a bigger ad is likely to perform better than a smaller ad across multiple metrics, a notion explored Newsworks' analysis of RAMetrics data.

Results from our recent research shows that the ads tested got an average standout of 82%, outperforming the print ad average. Six ads got standout scores of over 90% - figures which are even more impressive when compared to digital averages. Existing Lumen research shows that only 20% of viewable ads get looked at online - and this is using the lowest definition of viewability (50% of pixels for one second).

We also know that print newsbrand ads are viewed 2.5 times longer than an average digital ad. For the Christmas ads tested, people were spending an average of two seconds looking at an ad. This figure might look low out of context, but the McDonald’s latte ad, one of our competition winners, only received a dwell time of 1.8 seconds. This is average for its size and format, but it comes in under the overall two second average. However, McDonald's performs very strongly on recall measures, with 34% spontaneously recalling the ad and a whopping 53% recalling after being prompted with stimulus. It's not necessarily important for an ad to be looked at for any length of time, what is paramount is that people see it, take it in and process the message.

Last year's research with Lumen, which included both Christmas and Black Friday advertising, shows that some ads take a more price-based "catalogue" approach that invites longer perusal of the products (and prices) on offer; while others focus on the quality of a single core product or brand benefit. When we study the "heat maps" for each of the brands, it becomes very clear that both approaches work well to attract attention to key messages, provided the ad is uncluttered and clear, as time can be wasted deciphering what an ad means.

Over seasonal periods in particular, print newsbrands excel at providing a vehicle to boost the effectiveness of both direct-response and brand building campaigns.

That's enough about Christmas. We can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for innovative and exciting use of newsbrands' multi-platform offerings.


by Rupert Medler 11/01/18

Want the latest news, opinion and insight on news brands?
Sign up and we'll send you a weekly update.

Sign up here

Get in touch

3rd Floor
3 Marshalsea Road

0203 949 7470


Keep up to date

Please take a minute to answer a few questions on our new website. The feedback you provide will help us make the website easier for you to navigate and ensure you can find the content you’re after. In addition, we’ll enter you in to a prize draw for a £100 Amazon voucher*.

Take Survey Not now Never