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Many studies have compared advertising effectiveness online and in print. Where that research has fallen short is in comparing the ways people divide their visual attention, specifically when using different devices and media. Here’s how a team of academics and practitioners in Italy and Copenhagen measured that response using biometrics.
The researchers compared readers’ reactions to three different media formats of newspaper advertising: paper, PDF on a tablet and a website using a PC. They evaluated response by measuring memorization, visual attention and cognitive response, using these biometrics techniques: eye-tracking and brain scanning using electroencephalography (EEG).
The results largely support existing research on “banner blindness”—the tendency of users to avoid looking at advertising banners when viewing content on websites. Indeed, “the website had the lowest performance in terms of visual attention and memorization,” the authors wrote.
Among the findings:
- Eye-tracking data show that people spent more time on advertising flyers when reading a newspaper on a tablet and on paper, compared with website navigation.
- Brain waves associated with unpleasantness showed greater activation when participants viewed ads while reading a newspaper on a tablet or on paper rather than on a website.
- These findings underline the benefits of applying neuroscientific methods in combination with pen-and-paper techniques, such as memory tasks.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Andrea Ciceri (email@example.com) is president and cofounder of SenseCatch, a Como, Italy-based research and consultancy firm that specializes in applying neuroscience to consumer behavior, economics and psychology.
Vincenzo Russo (Vincenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate professor of consumer psychology and neuromarketing at IULM University in Milan. He is also scientific director of the university’s Center of Research for Neuromarketing, Behavior and Brain Lab.
Giulia Songa (email@example.com) is CEO and cofounder of SenseCatch. She is also a visiting researcher at Ghent University, Belgium for a project on labels and food perception. Songa is an expert in consumer behavior, decision making and implicit measurements.
Giorgio Gabrielli (Giorgio.firstname.lastname@example.org) is CEO of News 3.0 and an adjunct professor of neuromanagement and self-management at IULM University.
Jesper Clement (email@example.com) is an associate professor at Copenhagen Business School’s Department of Marketing. There, he heads the Decision Neuroscience Research Cluster (DNRC), a base for projects at the intersection of brain and behavioral research. The cluster—which includes a test laboratory called SenseLab—is an initiative emerging from the integration of traditional business research and the field of neuroscience.