Advertising Fast or Slow

Faris
6 min readSep 16, 2021

How fast do you want it?

How fast are you reading this?

A meta-analysis of 190 studies suggests the average adult reading speed in English is 238 words per minute for non-fiction (it’s slightly higher for fiction).

Whether you are reading this and how rapidly is a function of a number of elements. The fact that you are reading it at all suggests it is probably relevant to your interests and therefore you probably work in or around advertising.

How much attention you focus on it is dependent on the interplay of how much the headline suggests the topic is of particular interest to you, what your pre-existing associations are with the publication and me as the author, and how it is written, displayed and the broader context of consumption.

At the Spark ’21 online conference I spoke at remotely, Lumen Research presented some new data from their analysis of how much attention ads on magazine websites receive.

This is not an embedded video, it’s an image but you can watch the talk on the Magnetic Media Spark site, for free! It’s only 20 minutes AND I do a magic trick.

According to their tests,

“ads on mags are slightly more likely to be noticed at all, and significantly more likely to be looked at for longer, than equivalent ads on comparable publisher or social sites.”

Lumen Research

Their research indicates this is a function of time spent consuming the content. In a logical cascade, magazines are made of content that people are choosing to consume, so they take their time over it rather than scrolling past rapidly, which gives the advertising more time to get noticed and then consumed. Scroll speed is inversely correlated with the attention capture effects of advertising.

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Faris

Hello! I'm Faris. I'm looking for the awesome. Founder/Genius Steals. Itinerant Strategist//Speaker. Author of Paid Attention.