5 Ways to Capture Attention with High-Impact Ads

Eight seconds. That’s all you have to capture a consumer’s attention

That’s a tough challenge for any marketer, no matter how experienced. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements from every direction (especially online), making it difficult to focus on one piece of content at a time. 

We’re here to help you grab — and keep — their attention with high-impact digital ads that’ll boost engagement and revenue. Let’s dive in.

How can marketers attract consumer attention in advertising?

The answer is simple: engage your audience. Make your content stand out, and make it unique. Give people a reason to pause in a digital world where consumer attention is so short and precious. High-impact ad experiences are a great example of the bid for consumer attention. 

“User experience needs to be a primary focus of your ad,” says Jesse Brewer, VP of Sales at Wunderkind. “If your ads are standing out because they’re blocking users from the publisher’s content, you’re denying your potential customer what they want — content — and you’re less likely to get what you want in return — attention for your brand.”

User Experience 

The programmatic ecosystem offers a variety of places to display your brand message, but your goal needs to be finding the right place

Investing in standard-size ad placements (such as 300×250, 728×90) can often be a waste of marketing dollars as upwards of 80% of users do not recall the last display ad they saw and the company or product it promoted. This phenomenon, known as ‘banner blindness’, is a form of selective attention where web visitors ignore information presented on banners.

And while it may be easy to assume that brands can combat banner blindness by focusing on any large format high-impact ads, there needs to be consideration for the user’s experience. While the traditional “roadblocks,” “takeovers,” and “page grabbers” that have dominated the high-impact space offer more screen real estate, brands run the risk of getting users’ attention for the wrong reasons. According to HubSpot, the leading cause of users installing ad blockers is ads being annoying or intrusive.

So what’s the middle ground? How do brands win a user’s attention without getting in their way? Large-format, high-impact ad experiences are great, but it’s all about the timing and the experience. 

“Look for behaviors exhibited by users that signify they have completed their content, and then catch their eye with a high-impact experience. Essentially, be kind to the user,” Brewer says. 

The video below exhibits one of the smarter ways to advertise. When the user disengages with the content, their experience isn’t interrupted by ads. Rather, the high-impact overlay grabs the consumer’s attention and invites them to engage. 

Creative Functionality

Once you’ve found the right moment to grab your user’s attention, it’s time to invite them to engage, learn, and even take action with video ads. According to Statista, digital video advertising spend is expected to increase from 11.24 billion in 2021 to 12.66 billion by 2024. While video marketing is no longer a new, shiny tool to the digital landscape — it’s more important than ever to remain competitive and relevant. 

Below are 5 examples of ways to stand out from the crowd with higher functioning creative: 

#1 Shoppable Creative: An ad unit that allows the customer to click on products and directly add them to their cart.


#2 Video Selector: A multi-video unit works well for awareness campaigns, allowing multiple products to be advertised in one creative asset. The user can select which video journey they want to follow.


#3 Social Remix: Mimics the look and feel of social platforms (TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube) to make the user feel as though they’re scrolling through their feed and can add the product to their cart. 


#4 Tap to Map: This feature utilizes the user’s geographic location in order to generate locations of the advertiser’s store or dealership that are near the viewer. This creates an easy shopping experience. 


#5 Expandable Units: Triggered by a user’s click, this ad unit increases screen real estate, providing a microsite experience within the ad and a greater opportunity to interact with the user. The user selects the ‘expand’ button for the ad to take over their screen. 

Measurement Strategy

Now that you know how to catch your user’s eye at the right moment and drive brand engagement with interactive creative, make sure you have the right reporting infrastructure to prove the impact of your media dollars. 

You can’t expect every impression to lead to a sale. Your audience needs to be primed on your brand message before they make a purchase, regardless of what channel they do it through. And zooming out to focus only on clicks fails to capture the huge impact that online branding efforts can have on potential consumers. 

Higher functioning creative concepts like those recommended above (ex. shoppable creative, tap-to-map) will allow you to report on user interactions with your ads. Beyond that, elevated metrics focused on attention and brand lift help to quantify the impact of online branding efforts:

  • Attention Measurement: Pioneered by companies like Oracle (MOAT), Adelaide, and Lumen, the intention is to give brands more than just conversions and clicks to measure the impact of online advertising. Attention measurement analyzes a variety of data points, which are fed into a machine-learning model to predict the likelihood that a given media environment and ad creative will draw attention from a hypothetical audience member.
  • Brand Lift Measurement: Companies like Lucid and Millward Brown source survey respondents based on people who have been exposed to the brand’s ads versus those who have not. These tools can track an ads impact on awareness, consideration and intent, ensuring that the value of ad impressions is reflected with more than just a proxy metric like click through rate.

With these five creative ad ideas and a better understanding of capturing consumer attention, you’ll be ready to take on the digital ad landscape in 2023.


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Emily Black

Emily has a background in writing, specifically in the technology and eCommerce industry. After completing her MA she entered the eCommerce space, writing reports, blogs, and whitepapers. She aims to cut through the industry noise to bring clear insight to the Wunderkind community.