Distracted Consumers Remember Ads with Slight Variations Says Study
Imagine the endless bombardment of digital advertising and the flood of visual information besetting a consumer who is already burdened by day to day activities. It is difficult to get a person’s full attention, let alone drive him to buy a product.
The question that addresses the types of ads which inattentive and distracted consumers remember is the subject of the study authored by Stewart Shapiro (University of Delaware) and Jesper Nielsen (University of Arizona). The results of the study were published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Repetition can drive the consumer’s “preference” to an advertisement, whether it occurs in print or on television. Each exposure to the ad reinforces the image on the consumer’s memory, making the ad more successful.
The series of experiments included in the study found a striking detail that enhances the consumer’s retention of the ad, even when the consumer gives limited attention to watching or viewing the image. If there is an ad element—a logo or a product depiction, for example, that changes its position from one ad exposure to the next—then that slightly varying ad element drives the image home in the person’s memory. Compared to showing the same ad over and over, a series of ads that feature subtle changes are more effective and are easily remembered by distracted consumers.
An example of effective advertising that is mentioned by the authors of the study is a company that places its brand logo at the bottom left corner during the first time the print ad is shown then, with the rest of the ad unchanged, the brand logo is moved to the bottom right corner.
Given how traditional advertising can drive your marketing funding to the roof, you might want to consider the findings of this study the next time you design your graphic ads. If you have a series of advertisements, then make sure that there are subtle differences that are noticeable among them.