Effects of Personalized Banner Ads on Visual Attention and Recognition Memory

Moritz Köster, Marco Rüth, Kai-Christoph Hamborg, Kai Kaspar
  • Applied Cognitive Psychology, September 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/acp.3080

What is it about?

Internet companies collect a vast amount of data about their users in order to personalize banner ads. However, very little is known about the effects of personalized banners on attention and memory. In the present study, 48 subjects performed search tasks on web pages containing personalized or nonpersonalized banners. Overt attention was measured by an eye- tracker, and recognition of banner and task-relevant information was subsequently examined. The entropy of fixations served as a measure for the overall exploration of web pages. Results confirm the hypotheses that personalization enhances recognition for the content of banners while the effect on attention was weaker and partially nonsignificant. In contrast, overall exploration of web pages and recognition of task-relevant information was not influenced. The temporal course of fixations revealed that visual exploration of banners typically proceeds from the picture to the logo and finally to the slogan. We discuss theoretical and prac- tical implications.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Kai-Christoph Hamborg