THE IMPACT OF ADVERTISING
LOCATION AND USER TASK ON THE
EMERGENCE OF BANNER AD
BLINDNESS
Marc Resnick, Ph.D.
Bentley Unive...
Online Advertising
 $12.1 Billion in 2010 (Businessweek)
 $77 Billion in 2016 (Forrester Research)
 $28 Billion in 2016...
Banner Blindness
 Stems from the cognitive phenomenon of inattention blindness (IB)
in which users do not perceive or foc...
Study Objectives
 If banner blindness emerges when users expect ads to
contain a low probability of task relevant informa...
Method
 Home pages of eighteen moderately popular web sites
were presented with either a top or right side banner ad
 Us...
DwellTime on the Banner Ad
not significantly different
significantly
different
banner
blindness
FreeViewingTask andTop Ad
Looked
everywhere
including the ad
and other typical
ad locations
FreeViewingTask and Right Ad
Looked
everywhere
including the ad
and other typical
ad locations
Goal DirectedTask andTop Ad
Some viewing of
the top ad
Viewing
concentrated on
the content
Goal DirectedTask and Right Ad
Minimal viewing
of the right ad
Viewing
concentrated on
the content
Summary
 When users have a specific information goal, they only
view page areas that are likely to contain relevant
infor...
Practical Implications
 Banner blindness emerges because users prefer to avoid attending to
advertising when they have sp...
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The Impact of Advertising Location and User Task on the Emergence of Banner Ad Blindness

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The Impact of Advertising Location and User Task on the Emergence of Banner Ad Blindness

  1. 1. THE IMPACT OF ADVERTISING LOCATION AND USER TASK ON THE EMERGENCE OF BANNER AD BLINDNESS Marc Resnick, Ph.D. Bentley University mresnick@bentley.edu humanfactors.blogspot.com @PerformSol Bill Albert, Ph.D. User Experience Center walbert@bentley.edu www.bentley.edu/centers/ user-experience-center
  2. 2. Online Advertising  $12.1 Billion in 2010 (Businessweek)  $77 Billion in 2016 (Forrester Research)  $28 Billion in 2016 just for display ads (Forbes) Even though many of us find them annoying, they are not going anywhere, anytime soon.
  3. 3. Banner Blindness  Stems from the cognitive phenomenon of inattention blindness (IB) in which users do not perceive or focus attention on stimuli with a low probability of containing task relevant information  IB for banner ads emerges because users do not expect task relevant information to be contained in banner ads  Banner ads can reliably be predicted to be located on the right side of a web page and to some extent on the top, above the navigation menu – so they are easy to avoid and are a prime candidate for IB. top ad right ad
  4. 4. Study Objectives  If banner blindness emerges when users expect ads to contain a low probability of task relevant information, what happens when the task does not require specific information?  If the right side is more likely to have advertising than the top, is there more banner blindness for right side ads than top ads?  Is there an interaction between these two influences on user attention?
  5. 5. Method  Home pages of eighteen moderately popular web sites were presented with either a top or right side banner ad  Users were assigned either a goal-directed or a free- viewing task  Eye tracking was used to quantify how much users looked at each area of interest on the web page.
  6. 6. DwellTime on the Banner Ad not significantly different significantly different banner blindness
  7. 7. FreeViewingTask andTop Ad Looked everywhere including the ad and other typical ad locations
  8. 8. FreeViewingTask and Right Ad Looked everywhere including the ad and other typical ad locations
  9. 9. Goal DirectedTask andTop Ad Some viewing of the top ad Viewing concentrated on the content
  10. 10. Goal DirectedTask and Right Ad Minimal viewing of the right ad Viewing concentrated on the content
  11. 11. Summary  When users have a specific information goal, they only view page areas that are likely to contain relevant information. They have inattention blindness to other locations.  Users are more likely to expect advertising on the right side than the top of the page.  There is an interaction between these two influences ◦ users will look at locations that are moderately likely to contain ads, even in a goal-directed task. ◦ when users do not have a specific information goal, banner blindness does not emerge.
  12. 12. Practical Implications  Banner blindness emerges because users prefer to avoid attending to advertising when they have specific information to look for – so fooling them by masking advertising is likely to lead to reduced brand preferences.  When users are free viewing, they are OK with looking at ads, so interesting, attractive ads can be valuable.  User behavior was different among the 18 home page designs. The reasons remain unclear but there may be valuable insights into how to design home pages to increase users’ willingness to view ads.  The increase in total dwell time was over 200 ms for unavoided banner ads. Over time, this can lead to significant brand awareness, familiarity, and preference.
  13. 13. Thank You!!

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