After being asked to recall the last display ad they saw, only 14% could name the company, the brand or the product, suggesting that brands are wasting millions of dollars in ads that consumers don't remember.
The Infolinks study analyzing banner blindness reveals that 60% couldn't recall the last display ad they saw, although 75% of respondents who remembered seeing the last ad remember seeing it online. The survey analyzes responses from U.S.-based consumers in December from all genders, ages, income and education levels.
Relevance remains a key challenge, and 3.65% of respondents who remembered the last ad they viewed did not remember the context. About 80% felt the last ad they saw was not relevant to them. Only 2.8% of respondents said they thought the ads they saw met their needs to either answer a question or provide more information.
The findings also reveal that only half of users ever click on online ads, while 35% click on less than five ads per month. Among online ad viewers, 75% saw the ad on their computer, while the remainder viewed the ad on their phone or tablet.
There are similarities between the way the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, airport security screeners, glaze over liquid-filled bottles in carry-on luggage and the banner ads that consumers searching for information never see. Infolinks CEO Dave Zinman believes improving the 0.1% click-through rates on banner ads requires choosing nontraditional and memorable ad locations to increase the recall by consumers typically bombarded with messages.
Social media works to heighten brand recall, even in banner ads. Some companies -- like Mondelez International, Oreo cookies' parent company -- have begun to link Twitter tweets and television spots to gain higher recall. Not all brands can afford traditional broadcast's high price tag.
Zinman's advice is to avoid delivering ads without first identifying user intent, and serve fewer ads to reduce clutter on pages -- suggesting that brands are willing to pay more for premium, uncluttered experiences if the advertisement prompts consumers to purchase products or download information.