Roving Eyes

According to a new study by The Online Publishers Association, partnered with Innerscope Research, "Biometric Evaluation: Assessing the Effectiveness of the OPA Ad Unit," 90% of participants notice OPA Ad Units in the first 10 seconds of being on a webpage. Users who fixated on the Ad Units were as emotionally engaged with the advertising as with the rest of the webpage content. The study further revealed that 67% of users returned to look at the Ad Units after spending time elsewhere on the webpage.

Editor's note: Though these measurements demonstrate the response to a proprietary advertising structure, certainly the findings present a benchmark for alternative methodologies.

Pam Horan, President of the OPA,  "... advertisers (want to know if) consumers notice their ad and engage with it... (this study) see(s) a participants' eye tracking activity as they view the ad, read the content, and then return to the ad... "

Additional results from the study include:

  • 96% of participants pay attention to OPA Ad Units while naturally surfing
  •  73% of users who fixated on units after the first ten seconds displayed a stronger emotional response to the advertising than to the rest of the webpage
  • On average it takes 0.6 seconds to fixate on an Ad Unit
  • On average, participants fixate over 15 times on Ad Units
  •  40% of these fixations occur after the first 10 seconds of being on a webpage

Study Methodology and Definitions:

Study participants were directed to the homepages of three OPA member sites ,, and,... and particular article pages were recreated for the purposes of this study so that an OPA Ad Unit could be randomly presented on the targeted article pages.

OPA Ad Units, were designed and introduced in July, 2009 to provide a platform for marketers to deliver their brand experiences as opposed to encouraging consumers to click.

  • A Fixed Panel ad is embedded into the page layout at 336 wide x 700 tall. As the viewer scrolls, the ad scrolls as well, staying in a fixed position on the viewer's screen.
  • A Pushdown ad appears on screen as a narrow strip (970 wide by 66 tall), expands for 7 seconds to 970 wide by 418 tall and automatically closes for a 1/24x frequency.
  • An XXL Box begins at 468 wide x 648 tall, automatically opens across the page for 7 seconds to 936 wide by 648 tall for a 1/24x frequency.

To read more about this study, please go here, and to access a PDF file of the complete report with charts and graphs, please visit here.


1 comment about "Roving Eyes".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, November 8, 2010 at 2:39 p.m.

    Thankfully Ad Blocker Plus on FireFox removes these ads from my experience. I have seen these ads and they are way more annoying than banner ads. I still don't think people want Ads in their browsers. Nothing can change my view of that. Even if Digital Ads have success they will be at the expense of forcing themselves on a persons browsing experience.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't view ads in return for free content. But since that has never been a mandatory part of any offering (even Hulu I get to turn off the volume and swap Tabs), I don't feel as guilty as I should. Its the Brands not the Content providers being shafted. But thats ok since I see the Brands everywhere I look off screen already.

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