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As you know, I am very interested in the media and advertising sector, and I have spent a lot of time in the last few days reading research on consumer behaviour concerning advertising.
Today, I would like to share with you something straightforward here: research carried out by scientists using the “eye-tracking” technique.

 

The time of exposure to advertisements is very brief

Scientific research shows that exposure to advertisements is generally very short. It is measured in milliseconds, and it is estimated that a consumer typically spends no more than 100 ms (i.e., one-tenth of a second) watching an advertisement. You realise, of course, that 100 ms is too short a time for the human eye to visualise what is on a poster.

 

The consumer does not see the advertisement

As a result, many exposures to advertisements are not only brief but also blurred. When looking at an ad, the consumer only has a general impression but does not have time to adjust his / her vision to see precisely what is in the advertisement.

Scientific research has shown that the central object and its colour protect the integrity of the advertising message so that the background of the image does not interfere with the memorisation of the message. It is therefore essential to ensure, when designing the advertising message, that even under very brief exposure conditions, what is perceived by the eye can still be interpreted by the brain. In other words, you, as the advertiser, must ensure that the shape perceived by the eyes is defined enough to be recognisable. If you do not apply this rule, there is a risk that consumers will at best only see a formless object that they cannot remember.

 

The secret to increasing advertising recall

I’m sure you don’t want to be forgotten, do you? In that case, follow this recommendation the next time you have an ad, flyer, banner, or any other commercial support to make. First of all, position the object you want to highlight in the centre of the ad and make sure it is in strong contrast with the background.

If you want to do a simple test to make sure your ad is well designed, apply a “blur” filter in your image processing software (Photoshop, for example) and observe the result. If you can’t recognise what’s on the ad after blurring it, go back to your office and try again.

What do you think of the photos below? Do they meet the stated visual recognition criteria? Did their creators work well or not?

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