Pop-ups and animated advertisements annoy consumers

A dissertation demonstrates that greater attention value of advertisements does not always improve the effectiveness of advertising.

In his dissertation at the Aalto University School of Business, Jarmo Kuisma, MSc (Econ.), MBA examined how consumers perceived advertisements on websites and how they reacted to them.

Kuisma noticed, that consumers viewed advertisement more when surfing websites than they did when they were online performing goal-oriented tasks or looking for exact information. Advertisements attracted positive attention when their themes were similar to the content of the websites. On the other hand, forms of advertisement that require obligatory attention, such as pop-up windows and animated advertisements, easily annoyed consumers and caused rejection.

A surprising discovery was made in the study: a greater attention value of advertisements did not improve remembering the advertisements in all situations. On the other hand, reading efficiency did not improve when the advertisements around the text were removed. Additionally, even a fairly small increase in the number times the advertisements were repeated improved how people perceived and remembered them.

Joint effect is decisive

According to the dissertation, perceiving and remembering advertisements as well as the consumer's attitude to advertisements depends on several factors that are in interaction. These include, for example, the size, format and location of the advertisement on the website and the compatibility of its content with the theme of the website. The consumer's intentions and ability to process online information also affected how advertisements were viewed and remembered.

– The study provides additional information about consumers' behaviour and perception processes in a dynamic online environment, in which it is more challenging to study the effects of advertising than it is in media traditionally used in advertising, Kuisma says.

The study was conducted using eye tracking i.e. recording consumers' eye movements on the websites.

– This way it is possible to obtain information about consumers' reactions while they are viewing advertisements, whereas traditional methods measure the effectiveness of advertising only after advertising has been perceived. The attention attracted by advertisements and their visual processing are prerequisites for effective advertising, says Jarmo Kuisma.

Those who work in marketing and advertising are provided with advice on how online advertising can attract attention in ways that do not annoy consumers in spite of the constantly increasing overload of advertisements and information.

Dissertation

Jarmo Kuisma's doctoral dissertation Consumer Perception of Online Advertising - The Effects of Animation, Ad Characteristics, Repetition and Task Relevancy on Attention and Memory will be presented for examination in the Assembly Hall of the School of Business, Main Building, Runeberginkatu 14–16, Helsinki, on 4 November 2015 at 12.00.

Andrew Duchowski (Clemson University) will act as opponent and Professor (active emeritus) Kristian Möller as custos.

More information:
Jarmo Kuisma
School of Business
tel. +358 50 060 5562
[email protected]

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