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Evan Palmer, Carolina Bates, Anjana Rajan, Andrew Miranda; The Impact of Distracting Web Advertisements on Brand Awareness and Reading Comprehension. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):233. doi: 10.1167/10.7.233.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It has been known for many years that moving objects and salient colors capture attention. Many websites have colorful, animated advertisements that are intended to attract users' interest. Previous work has evaluated the impact of distracting ads on brand awareness, but there is little research about the impact of distracting ads on reading comprehension, even though distracting ads are commonly placed near passages of text on websites. We investigated the impact of various forms of advertisements on both brand awareness and reading comprehension. In the first phase of the experiment, participants attempted to verbally name 24 (of 100 possible) brand logos and voice onset response time was measured. Logos were modified to contain no text or other identifying characteristics (e.g., the Red Bull logo was not used because it contains two red bulls). In the second phase of the experiment, participants read 24 modified encyclopedia passages while one of four ad types was displayed next to the text. The four possible ad types were: no ad, static ad, color salient ad, or animated ad. Following each passage, participants answered four multiple choice questions and their response time and accuracy were recorded. In the final phase of the experiment, participants named the 24 brand logos again and priming was calculated. Results indicate that animated ads received the most name priming followed by color salient ads. Static ads received no more priming than the no ad baseline condition. Despite the fact that animated ads were more attended to (as indexed by name priming), reading comprehension while viewing animated ads was slightly better than the other three ad conditions. Informal reports from participants indicated that animated ads were the most distracting, yet they produced the highest brand recognition and did not impact reading comprehension.
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