A study, conducted by Microsoft Advertising, had found that as many as 86% of British People are now ‘multiscreening’ (using more than one device with a screen simultaneously) while watching TV, surfing the web or gaming. The ‘Attention Spans’ study also identified three distinct consumer personas, which brands should consider when developing marketing plans.


The results of the study, published last month, showed that nearly half (47%) of all 18-24 year-olds have high selective attention, meaning that they are able to maintain focus in the face of distractions. This is due to them having grown up with multiscreen technology. Those aged 45 and over were more likely to alternate attention, switching between tasks that require different cognitive skills.

For the study, 2000 British consumers were surveyed. The three consumer profiles it identified could change the way brands approach their marketing efforts. They are as follows:

Ninja: They are able to compartmentalise tasks so as to control their attention. They allocate individual activities to different devices. Ninjas respond to marketing that is attention-grabbing and delivers something out of the ordinary.

Pragmatist: They show some degree of compartmentalisation, but they use their attention skills to combine activities. They generally don’t rigidly organise their days. They prefer marketing messages to be interesting, interactive and original.

Ambidextrous: These consumers regularly regularly blend tasks together across devices. They will often complete household admin, work and social media activities at the same time. They respond to cross-channel marketing content that is short and to the point.

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