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Surprise: Eye Tracking Study Reveals Bigger Ads Are More Noticeable

Surprise: Eye Tracking Study Reveals Bigger Ads Are More NoticeableIn an article we recently read at mediamemo.allthingsd.com, various online publishers suggest the effectiveness for giant ads that show up on sites as you’re browsing the web. Apparently, these ads have stopping power (and it’s not just the fact that they literally stop you from viewing the site, obstructing text and the stuff you’re looking to find).

Web publishers say that running the enormous ads seems to be working and claim that there is scientific research that backs up these claims. The industry trade group Online Publishers Association recently commissioned a test to monitor web users’ eye movements and their emotional response as they come across the humongous ads online. The study showed that users tended to notice giant ads in front of them when they landed on the New York Times site. This seems pretty obvious – when you place a giant ad in front of someone, they tend to notice. Still, as web users, we’ve adapted to the way information is presented, so it’s not always cut and dry as we manage to even subconsciously avoid certain areas, moving text, and so on.

Ninety-six percent of web surfers in the study looked at the giant ads onscreen when they popped up (again, not surprising!). Sixty-seven percent of web users noticed the giant ads in the first 10 seconds when visiting a page, then they came back and eventually looked again. The users that looked at the giant ads after spending longer than 10 seconds on a page ended up generating a stronger emotional response to the advertisements than the stuff on the rest of the site.

Of course, all this research was done by an interest group involved in the industry, so as the article says, you sort of have to take it with a grain or two of salt. But still, they claim it’s pretty interesting (to us it seems incredibly obvious, but whatever…).

The researchers used biometric testing that involved some sensors and probably eye tracking in an effort to give some idea to publishers what users avoid and notice.

Bang! Publishers Say Giant Web Ads Have “Stopping Power”