Study Finds That Mall Shoppers Love Faces


Turns out that while consumers find lots of advertising annoying, they actually like posters displayed in malls -- especially if it is a photo that includes a human face. A new study from EYE, a mall media specialist, found that even the second time shoppers passed a display, 47.8% took a second look.

"It takes approximately 10 seconds for people to move past a given ad as they are walking around," Michelle Schiano, VP/marketing for EYE, tells Marketing Daily, "and they spend two seconds looking at it. That means advertisers really only get two seconds of exposure, so you want to make sure your brand is well positioned."

Both men and women were more likely to focus on ads with people in them, and both genders stared longest at ads containing women -- a result that was consistent in all markets, she says. "We think we're just hardwired to do this," she says, "it seems instinctive. And people's gaze tends to go to the eyes first."



It was also interesting, she says, that to some degree, everybody looked at the ads. "They were all absorbed by the advertising in the mall. And it was intriguing that there didn't seem to be any fatigue, which means having multiple placements in the mall makes good sense for raising brand awareness."

The study, done with Access Testing, studied mall, airport and university audiences in Singapore, New Zealand, the U.K., and malls in New York, California, and Georgia. Viewing engagement was measured when participants' eyes fixated on an ad panel for at least a one-fifth of a second. (While the researchers measured all types of mall advertising, the company is only releasing specifics about its own products, including a backlit Eyelite 4'x6' panel, which had an average engagement rate of 51%, with an average viewing distance of 32 feet.)

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