Which online ad creative elements capture consumers' attention? What types of online ad formats are most seen by visitors to content websites?
To find out, Australia's Fairfax Media conducted an eye-tracking study with 100 consumers who visit content sites regularly. Half of them were shown the desktop version of the Sydney Morning Herald, and the other half were shown the mobile version.
The researchers presented a range of different advertisements on the website pages and tracked eye movement/gaze.
Participants also engaged in an ad-recall exercise as well as a qualitative discussion about their experiences.
The researchers found that the advertisements most looked at and recalled by participants included these elements:
- Contrasting colors/brand colors
- Simple, concise messaging
- Clear, uncluttered design
- Prominent brand logos/symbols
Ads that matched brands' other online/offline campaign elements also had higher engagement/recall.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji