Many consumers may be oblivious to banner ads as they scroll and click their way through a website, but new research suggests the advertisements in fact have a powerful hold over the user.
Lead author Xiang Fang, a marketing professor at Tulsa’s Oklahoma State University, says people eventually come to think positively of certain products featured in banner ads even if they don’t click on the spot to find out more information.
“Our results suggest that even when there is no overt sign of effectiveness such as recognition or click-through, the banner ads may still impact ad-liking,” Fang writes in the study published in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
In tests, researchers found that although people didn’t remember the specific ad content, repeated exposure at least made them familiar with the product. Participants subsequently reported positive feelings for the brand.
Many companies justify the presence of advertisements, saying they’ve become an integral source of revenue needed to support operations. But some online users say they prefer reading pages with less clutter, noting that some pop-up ads are intrusive. Many of these consumers employ software that blocks all advertisements — a feature that also allows for faster loading of webpages.
New software replaces ads with art
In a move to replace the grey boxes generated by ad blockers, American artist Steve Lambert has developed software that will obstruct ads and promote contemporary artists. Developed with the support of Eyebeam OpenLab, a research and development lab, Lambert’s AddArt proposes to put art drawn from a curated database into the advertising boxes.
“AddArt can bring contemporary art to the desktops of all types of people at home and in their workplace — all over the world,” Lambert said on his website.
Lambert, who is still securing funding for the project, has tweaked the already existing blocking software Adblock Plus for his new program, which will function with web browser Firefox.