ad exposure

Seeking the Moment of Ad Impact

Nathalie Bordes – Senior Director, Emerging Channels Research, ESPN

Dr. Duane Varan, Ph.D. – CEO, MediaScience


This study used eye tracking to pinpoint the moment of ad exposure.

Viewability, an MRC standard, can be defined as “Is my ad in a prominent place so it can be seen by my targeted audience?”

Do desktop and mobile impressions require different exposures to be “seen”?

Controlled exposure, time to see, how quickly eye gaze intersects with the ad, how quickly visual fixation occurs, and memory are all affected at different exposure times. Each image was on screen for intervals between 500 and 4,000 milliseconds, or eight thresholds.

How is memory impacted by the different thresholds for exposure?

  • The eye gaze occurred at the .5 second mark.
  • It was present for both scrolling and static exposure.

Mobile scrolling produced higher results than the PC.

  • Even at .5 second, there is 36% recall.
  • At 4 seconds, there is 80% recall.


  • Mobile doesn’t require longer exposure time. Mobile actually requires less. Scrolling ad environments also do not need more exposure.
  • Ad recall already happens at .5 seconds.
  • There is a real ongoing need for further dialogue (time threshold)
  • How does creative play into this? Creative is crucial for ad impact, but not necessarily for the gaze or fixation.


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