Faces In Creative Double Odds That Ads Will Be Seen

The typical Internet user is served 1,707 display ads each month. Counting all Internet users, those display ads are worth $9.8 billion. With only 14% of those ads actually being seen, $8.4 billion of that  total doesn’t even have a chance.

New research from Sticky, a company with software that uses Webcams to track users’ eye movements, reveals some steps that marketers can take to increase the likelihood that their ads are seen.

According to the report, when a face is shown in an ad -- either human or animal -- the chances of the ad being seen are doubled. And contrary to popular belief, men look at faces first (and then chests), and women look at chests first (and then faces).

Sticking to the “popular belief” theme, the report suggests that size matters when it comes to display ads. In a stat that is more of a verification than anything groundbreaking, Sticky's data says the larger the ad the greater the likelihood that it will be seen -- and the longer it will be looked at.

“As we move toward better transparency in the digital space, being seen is step one for everyone to create a fair and true marketplace,” Jeff Bander, Sticky’s president and chief change agent, told Online Media Daily. “Publishers will understand the true value of their inventory, and brands will know who is delivering the best value and best creative.” He added: “No one wants to spend money on a billboard on the bottom of the ocean.”

Bander’s bottom-of-the-ocean quip brings up another point from the report: placement matters. A banner ad placed below the menu of a screen is seen by twice as many people and has twice the impact compared to ads that are served above the menu.

Even when the ads are seen, they are only seen for 22% of the time they appear in-screen. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given that people typically browse the Web for its content, not its ads.

The full infographic can be found here.
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1 comment about "Faces In Creative Double Odds That Ads Will Be Seen".
  1. Paul Scivetti from Synergen, Inc , December 23, 2013 at 10:15 a.m.
    Not surprising - we're hard-wired to notice people or animals, especially faces. Call it a vestige of 'fight or flight' - you want to know if the animal you see is no big deal or if they are thinking about eating you for lunch. One more think about faces - have the eyes 'look' towards your content. That draws people in. We are wired to 'follow the eyes'.