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Make your ads more effective with this very simple tip

I’m more and more interested in media and advertising and have recently read a lot to better understand consumer behavior when faced with advertisements.

Today I’d like to offer you a lesson taught by researchers using eye-tracking to understand consumers’ reactions in front of ads.

Exposure to ads is very brief

As you may know exposure to ads is typically very short. It’s measured in milliseconds and researchers consider that people usually don’t spend more than 100 ms (that’s one tenth of a second) looking at an ad! You realize that in 100 ms a human eye doesn’t have the time to focus.

Consumers don’t really see ads

As a result, many exposures to ads are not only brief but also blurred. When watching an ad, a consumer only gets an overall impression but has not the time to adjust his/her vision to see precisely what’s on the ad. The central object and its color have been found to protect gist perception under brief and blurred exposure. It is therefore essential to ensure that even under such conditions what is perceived by the eye can still be interpreted by the brain. In other words you, as an advertiser, must ensure that the shape perceived by the eyes is still “sharp” enough to be recognizable. If you don’t do that the risk is that consumers will only see a shapeless object that they will not remember.

The one thing to do to enhance te memory effect

I’m sure you want to avoid being forgotten, right ? In that case, follow this key tacke-away the next time you conceive an ad : position the object you want to advertise at the center of the ad and make sure that it is in sharp contrast with the background.

If you want to do a simple test to ensure your ad is designed well, use the blurring function of your photo editor software (photoshop for instance) and apply a “blur” filter. If you can’t recognize what’s on the ad after having blurred it, go back to your desk and change the ad.

What do you think of the ads below ? Do you think they fulfill the recognition criteria ?

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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