Mobile advertisements begin triggering reactions in less than a second, new research suggests, leading some brands to re-examine their creative strategies as well as the industry’s emphasis on longer exposures.
Consumers took 400 milliseconds to see and react emotionally to 67% of mobile ads tested in a study by neuroscience research company Neurons Inc. for the Mobile Marketing Association, a trade group of marketers, agencies, media sellers and technology players.
On desktops, it took two to three seconds to hit the same mark, according to the researchers, who said they used eye-tracking and EEG monitoring to measure what 900 participants saw and how they responded.
Although all brands had the same chance at being seen, bigger ones triggered emotional reactions more quickly.
Marketers already pay attention to the first moments of their mobile ads, especially in social-media feeds in which the imperative is to stop people from scrolling, and previous research by others has produced similar conclusions. But the new findings quantify and could expand marketers’ understanding in some ways—suggesting, for example, that ads not only make lightning-quick impressions but can misfire in a flash as well.
It isn’t clear whether that flattening holds up at greater lengths; the research only considered ad exposures from 100 milliseconds through three seconds.
Source: Ives, N. (2019, March 6). Mobile Ads Do More Work in One Second Than You Might Think. The Wall Street Journal.
This topic will be debated at the upcoming ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE. Learn more.
Editor’s Note: “Ad Viewability” is a measure of whether or not an ad had a chance to be seen by a user. The article below takes one position of this controversial issue.