How advertising avoidance affects visual attention and memory of advertisements
Understanding how to more effectively advertise is an important area for practitioners, many of whom are struggling to stay in business. Nowadays, both product and corporate branding are important and given the increase in online advertising, additional research to better understand advertising avoidance is needed. Most advertising avoidance studies to date measure either task attention or attention to advertising. This paper contributes to a more holistic view of attention by examining two distinct online tasks, such as reading information and buying products, and two forms of advertising, such as product brand advertisements and corporate brand advertisements. An eye-tracking experiment with 121 respondents show that when reading, users look more at advertisements that increase the memory of the ads. Regardless of the task performed, the corporate brand ads are more memorable than the product brand ads even if the product ads attract more attention. The longer the user stays on a website, the more the user will look at the ads and the easier it will be to remember them. However, ads are considered to be distractors for online users, therefore, to increase their effectiveness they must be more engaging and provide value for the audience.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Alonso Dos Santos, M., Moreno, F. C., & Sánchez-Franco, M. J. (2018). Ceguera al patrocinador: Aplicación a carteles de eventos deportivos. Revista de Administração de Empresa, 58(6), 525–536. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0034-759020180602
Balmer, J. M. T., & Gray, E. R. (2003). Corporate brands: What are they? What of them? European Journal of Marketing, 37(7/8), 972–997. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560310477627
Behe, B. K., Bae, M., Huddleston, P. T., & Sage, L. (2015). The effect of involvement on visual attention and product choice. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 24, 10–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.01.002
Betz, T., Kietzmann, T. C., Wilming, N., & König, P. (2010). Investigating task-dependent top-down effects on overt visual attention. Journal of Vision, 10(3), 15. https://doi.org/10.1167/10.3.15
Brexendorf, T. O., & Keller, K. L. (2017). Leveraging the corporate brand: The importance of corporate brand innovativeness and brand architecture. European Journal of Marketing, 51(9/10), 1530–1551. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-07-2017-0445
Campbell, D. J. (1988). Task complexity: A review and analysis. Academy of Management Review, 13(1), 40–52. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1988.4306775
Castel, A. D., Nazarian, M., & Blake, A. B. (2015). Attention and incidental memory in everyday settings. In J. M. Fawcett, E. F. Risko, & A. Kingstone (Eds.), The handbook of attention (pp. 463–484). The MIT Press.
Cho, C.-H., & Cheon, H. J. (2004). Why do people avoid advertising on the internet? Journal of Advertising, 33(4), 89–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2004.10639175
Dowling, G. R. (1994). Corporate reputations: Strategies for developing the corporate brand. Kogan Page.
Drèze, X., & Hussherr, F.-X. (2003). Internet advertising: Is anybody watching? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 17(4), 8–23. https://doi.org/10.1002/dir.10063
Duff, B. R. L., & Faber, R. J. (2011). Missing the mark. Journal of Advertising, 40(2), 51–62. https://doi.org/10.2753/JOA0091-3367400204
Fetscherin, M., & Usunier, J.-C. (2012). Corporate branding: An interdisciplinary literature review. European Journal of Marketing, 46(5), 733–753. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561211212494
Flores, W., Chen, J.-C. V., & Ross, W. H. (2014). The effect of variations in banner ad, type of product, website context, and language of advertising on Internet users’ attitudes. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.006
Foulsham, T. (2015). Scene Perception. In J. M. Fawcett, E. F. Risko, & A. Kingstone (Eds.), The handbook of attention (pp. 257–280). The MIT Press.
Greenwald, A. G., & Leavitt, C. (1984). Audience involvement in advertising: Four levels. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(1), 581–592. https://doi.org/10.1086/208994
Haji, R., & Stock, W. G. (2021). User settings for advertising optimization on Facebook: Active customer participation or settings blindness? Telematics and Informatics, 59, 101548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2020.101548
Hatch, M. J., & Schultz, M. (2003). Bringing the corporation into corporate branding. European Journal of Marketing, 37(7/8), 1041–1064. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560310477654
Holmqvist, K., Nyström, M., Andersson, R., Dewhurst, R., Jarodzka, H., & Van de Weijer, J. (2011). Eye tracking: A comprehensive guide to methods and measures. OUP Oxford.
Hsieh, Y.-C., & Chen, K.-H. (2011). How different information types affect viewer’s attention on internet advertising. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(2), 935–945. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.11.019
Huang, Y.-F., & Kuo, F.-Y. (2012). How impulsivity affects consumer decision-making in e-commerce. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11(6), 582–590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2012.09.004
Husić-Mehmedović, M., Omeragić, I., Batagelj, Z., & Kolar, T. (2017). Seeing is not necessarily liking: Advancing research on package design with eye-tracking. Journal of Business Research, 80, 145–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.04.019
IAB. (2018). Digital ad spend reaches an all-time high of $88 billion in 2017, with mobile upswing unabated, accounting for 57% of revenue. https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IAB-InternetAdvertising-Revenue-Report-FY-2017-Draft-Media-Alert-v9.pdf
Itti, L., & Koch, C. (2000). A saliency-based search mechanism for overt and covert shifts of visual attention. Vision Research, 40(10), 1489–1506. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0042-6989(99)00163-7
Kao, C.-T., & Wang, M.-Y. (2013). The right level of complexity in a banner ad: Roles of construal level and fluency. In S. Yamamoto (Ed.), Lecture notes in computer science: Vol. 8016. Human interface and the management of information. Information and Interaction Design. HIMI 2013. (pp. 604–613). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-39209-2_67
Kemp, S. (2019). Digital trends 2019: Every single stat you need to know about the internet. https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2019/01/30/digital-trends-2019-every-single-stat-you-needto-know-about-the-internet/
Kuisma, J., Simola, J., Uusitalo, L., & Öörni, A. (2010). The effects of animation and format on the perception and memory of online advertising. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 24(4), 269–282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intmar.2010.07.002
Lamme, V. A. F. (2003). Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(1), 12–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(02)00013-X
Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. (2004). Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133(3), 339–354. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3422.214.171.1249
Lee, W., & Benbasat, I. (2003). Designing an electronic commerce interface: Attention and product memory as elicited by web design. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 2(3), 240–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1567-4223(03)00026-7
Lee Yohn, D. (2016). Why companies are advertising their master brand. https://hbr.org/2016/03/why-companies-are-advertising-their-master-brand
Li, Q., Huang, Z., & Christianson, K. (2016). Visual attention toward tourism photographs with text: An eye-tracking study. Tourism Management, 54, 243–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2015.11.017
Lo, S.-K., Hsieh, A.-Y., & Chiu, Y.-P. (2014). Keyword advertising is not what you think: Clicking and eye movement behaviors on keyword advertising. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 13(4), 221–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2014.04.001
Margarida Barreto, A. (2013). Do users look at banner ads on Facebook? Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(2), 119–139. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-Mar-2012-0013
Murphy, G., Groeger, J. A., & Greene, C. M. (2016). Twenty years of load theory – Where are we now, and where should we go next? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(5), 1316–1340. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-015-0982-5
Myers, S. D., Deitz, G. D., Huhmann, B. A., Jha, S., & Tatara, J. H. (2020). An eye-tracking study of attention to brand-identifying content and recall of taboo advertising. Journal of Business Research, 111, 176–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.08.009
Nielsen, J., & Pernice, K. (2010). Eyetracking web usability. New Riders.
Nobre, A. C., & Kastner, S. (2014). The Oxford handbook of attention. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199675111.001.0001
Pernice, K. (2018). Banner blindness revisited: Users dodge ads on mobile and desktop. Nielsen Norman Group.
Pieters, R., & Warlop, L. (1999). Visual attention during brand choice: The impact of time pressure and task motivation. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 16(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8116(98)00022-6
Pieters, R., & Wedel, M. (2004). Attention capture and transfer in advertising: Brand, pictorial, and text-size effects. Journal of Marketing, 68(2), 36–50. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.126.96.36.199794
Pieters, R., & Wedel, M. (2007). Goal control of attention to advertising: The Yarbus implication. Journal of Consumer Research, 34(2), 224–233. https://doi.org/10.1086/519150
Poole, A., & Ball, L. J. (2006). Eye tracking in HCI and usability research. In C. Ghaoui (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human computer interaction (pp. 211–219). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-59140-562-7.ch034
Rayner, K., & Well, A. D. (1996). Effects of contextual constraint on eye movements in reading: A further examination. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 3(4), 504–509. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03214555
Richardson, D. C., & Gobel, M. S. (2015). Social attention. In J. M. Fawcett, E. F. Risko, & A. Kingstone (Eds.), The handbook of attention (pp. 349–368). The MIT Press.
Speck, P. S., & Elliott, M. T. (1997). Predictors of Advertising avoidance in print and broadcast media. Journal of Advertising, 26(3), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.1997.10673529
Statista. (2014). Share of online advertising viewability worldwide in 2014, by ad size. https://www.statista.com/statistics/373487/advertising-viewability-ad-size/
TrendOne. (2018). Macro-trend: Advertising as a service. https://www.trendone.com/en/trend-universe/macro-trends/macro-trend-detail/advertising-as-a-service.html
Van den Bosch, A. L., De Jong, M. D., & Elving, W. J. (2005). How corporate visual identity supports reputation. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 10(2), 108–116. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280510596925
Vaughan, K., Beal, V., & Romaniuk, J. (2016). Can brand users really remember advertising more than nonusers? Testing an empirical generalization across six advertising awareness measures. Journal of Advertising Research, 56(3), 311–320. https://doi.org/10.2501/JAR-2016-037
Wang, Q., Wedel, M., Huang, L., & Liu, X. (2018). Effects of model eye gaze direction on consumer visual processing: Evidence from China and America. Information & Management, 55(5), 588–597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2017.12.003
Wang, Q., Yang, S., Liu, M., Cao, Z., & Ma, Q. (2014). An eye-tracking study of website complexity from cognitive load perspective. Decision Support Systems, 62, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2014.02.007
Wästlund, E., Otterbring, T., Gustafsson, A., & Shams, P. (2015). Heuristics and resource depletion: Eyetracking customers’ in situ gaze behavior in the field. Journal of Business Research, 68(1), 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2014.05.001
Wątróbski, J., Jankowski, J., Karczmarczyk, A., & Ziemba, P. (2017). Integration of eye-tracking based studies into e-Commerce Websites evaluation process with eQual and TOPSIS methods. In S. Wrycza & J. Maślankowski (Eds.), Lecture notes in business information processing: Vol. 300. Information systems: Research, development, applications, education (pp. 56–80). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66996-0_5
Wedel, M. (2015). Attention research in marketing: A Review of eye-tracking studies. In J. M. Fawcett, E. F. Risko, & A. Kingstone (Eds.), The handbook of attention (pp. 569–588). The MIT Press.
Wedel, M., & Pieters, R. (2000). Eye fixations on advertisements and memory for brands: A model and findings. Marketing Science, 19(4), 297–312. https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.19.4.297.11794
Winchester, M., & Romaniuk, J. (2008). Negative brand beliefs and brand usage. International Journal of Market Research, 50(3), 355–375. https://doi.org/10.1177/147078530805000306
Winchester, M., Romaniuk, J., & Bogomolova, S. (2008). Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake. European Journal of Marketing, 42(5/6), 553–570. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560810862507
Wu, K., Vassileva, J., Zhao, Y., Noorian, Z., Waldner, W., & Adaji, I. (2016). Complexity or simplicity? Designing product pictures for advertising in online marketplaces. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 28, 17–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.08.009
Yeu, M., Yoon, H.-S., Taylor, C., & Lee, D.-H. (2013). Are banner advertisements in online games effective? Journal of Advertising, 42(2–3), 241–250. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2013.774604
Zaichkowsky, J. L. (1985). Measuring the involvement construct. Journal of Consumer Research, 12(3), 341–352. https://doi.org/10.1086/208520
Zaichkowsky, J. L. (1994). The personal involvement inventory: Reduction, revision, and application to advertising. Journal of Advertising, 23(4), 59–70. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.1943.10673459