On March 8th, MarketingProfs.com published an infographic detailing the results of a neurometric study about mobile ads. The question posed by researchers was this: which format of mobile ad—small and embedded or large and interstitial—is more effective at grabbing a user’s visual attention, getting them to engage, and prompting them to take action?
“Users’ focus tended to drift to the corners of the screen with the full-screen video ads, most likely looking for a close button, whereas attention stayed focused on the center of the screen with the contextual ads.” — Ayaz Nanji, Co-Founder, ICW Content
Researchers gathered data from an in-person study where participants played a mobile game displaying both types of advertisements. The larger ads were full-screen takeovers, and the smaller embedded units were targeted and integrated into the user experience—prompted by actions or game context.
During the game, researchers used sensors, a headset and a neurometric monitor to track eye movement, heart rate, cognitive load and positive/negative emotional intensity levels. After the game, post-experience interviews provided additional feedback.
The study yielded some valuable insights about mobile ad effectiveness:
Attention: Researchers measured how much time users spent understanding the ad’s offer or logo, then subtracted this “contextual” time from the total time spent with the ad. According to their calculations, embedded ads were more effective, allowing users to spend three times more time with the brand.
Engagement: By tracking visual engagement, researchers discovered that 90% of the viewers watched 100% of the embedded contextual ads. However, only 25% of the viewers watched 100% of the full-screen interstitial ads. Their conclusion: viewers are more likely to remember “native, contextually relevant and rewarded” ad experiences.
Action: Researchers measured the brain’s feeling of “wanting” while watching each ad. They found that users were four times more motivated by embedded, opt-in, or reward-based ads than by the interstitials (which were twice as likely to activate negative “fight-or-flight” reactions).
The study concluded that embedded ads were the clear favorite for a number of reasons, including comprehension and brand recognition. The infographic also shares findings on favorability, mental engagement and consideration and memory.
Click here to view the full infographic.