National CineMedia Releases Cinema Attention Measurement Study


The breakthrough study concludes that cinema is the number one media platform for consumers’ attention to advertising when measured against all other video platforms, including TV, CTV, social and digital

National CineMedia (NCM®), the largest cinema advertising network in the US, announces the release of the first US cinema attention measurement study conducted by Lumen, the leading technology company for attention measurement, and in collaboration with dentsu, the agency leader in attention metrics.

The major finding proved that ads played in movie theaters ranked number one for consumers’ attention when measured against all other video platforms. Other key findings 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 a movie theater 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 TV and CTV and up to ten times social media.
  • CORRELATION WITH RECALL AND CHOICE: A direct correlation was found between attention metrics and brand recall and brand choice – higher attention metrics leads 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 – as they combine it with the 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 media effectiveness of plans and are eager for broader adoption across the industry. We’re thrilled that NCM has taken this step to expand the industry’s overall attention knowledge by testing in cinema, and the results speak for themselves. With a proven, captive, and attentive audience in seats, 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. We are thrilled to have worked with NCM to track cinema goers’ attention when viewing ads in the movie theater,” said Mike Follett, Managing Director of Lumen Research. “This important study will help shape how advertisers view their in-cinema advertising strategy.”

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 analyzing the relative value of media platforms,” shared Mike Rosen, Chief Revenue Officer at NCM. “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.”


Moviegoers were recruited to participate in the study and watch a showing of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at a state-of-the-art theater in Los Angeles, CA. Participants agreed to be filmed and were told to act as they normally would from the moment they walked into the auditorium. The environment was set up to mimic a regular moviegoing experience. Participants had snacks, phones, and were able to get up as needed. With six screenings over the course of two days, 151 adults aged 18+ were exposed to the NCM pre-show with ads in November 2022. Discreetly arranged infrared cameras recorded respondents and measured whether they were paying attention to the screen Footage was taken so that Lumen could detect pupils and body movements in the dark.

TV and CTV Norms: TVision data (Jan-Dec 2022, n: 5000 Homes)

Digital Norms: Attention Economy figures based on US Lumen Mobile Passive Panel Data (2021, Impressions = 3,775)



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Barb Rogers

Barb has worked within the digital advertising and marketing space for over 20 years. Over the years, she found it difficult to find information on the simplest of subjects tied to the digital marketing space, so she decided to embark on a journey to create a space that others may appreciate.

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