Attention is a new methodology based on behavioral psychology to assess fiction narratives at various stage of their development (pitch, scripts, pilots, etc.) developped by Attentional.

It evaluates the potential of drama and comedy projects, episodes or seasons based on narrative structures, character attributes and audience motivations (which vary depending on age, sex, country, social and cultural background, competitive offers, etc.) to back commissioning, development and production decisions.

Attention is exploited successfully by a major network in the US since 2006. Headway is now bringing it to continental Europe, with a team of multicultural experts.    
Fiction narratives

A fiction builds upon a succession of scenes and episodes which must gather momentum, grab viewers' attention and keep their interest in the long term. To achieve this one can play on 5 key drivers:

Each of these drivers depends on wide set of parameters (program genre, setting, plot structure, lead character(s) archetype, narrative dynamics, tone, style, etc.) and can be fine-tuned to maximize audience empathy with the protagonists and attention to the story. 

Behavioral psychology

Our perception of stories is influenced by a combination of contextual drivers (cultural habits, mood of times, competitive offer, etc.) and individual drivers (values, needs and expectations tied to one's profile: sex, age, education level, occupation, income, marital status, religious affiliation, etc.)  

Attention uses behavioral psychology to evaluate the fitness of story drivers with the expectations of target audience segments and to make recommandations on how to improve their impact.

Is the plot too obscure for mainstream viewers? Is the lead character accessible and human to emotionally engage the audience? Is the social framework dense enough? Does the story manage to combine familiar landmarks with a new style/treatment? Etc.

Attention services

• Evaluation of narrative framework based on the 5 key drivers (hero(es), objective(s), etc.)

• Scene-by-scene analysis of narrative momentum and engagement level by target group  

• Development support (moderation of creative groups, elaboration of narrative guidelines, etc.)

• Marketing and promotion recommendations based on fiction specifics (target audience, storyline, etc.)

• Acquisitions support (research and selection of foreign series with strong potential)

Photo credits: (1) Flics 2 © TF1/GMT ; (2) The Borgias © Canal+/Atlantique Productions (3) Scenes de Menage © M6/Noon; (4) Fait pas çi, fait pas ça © France 2/Elephant & Cie

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