The Psychology of Banner Ads

Ars Technica reports on a study that confirms that banner ads improve brand favorability, without requiring a clickthrough, or even conscious notice of the brand being advertised.

The researchers asked people to read an essay on a web page; some subjects also got banner ads for a fictitious brand of camera, at a varying number of exposures. When asked to evaluate the brand, their level of positive feelings were in a linear relationship with the number of banner ad exposures they had gotten.  Even after 20 exposures, they hadn’t maxed out the improvements in perceptions. They do note that after

There are fine points to debate about whether this means anything for established brands that need to change perceptions. But the basic finding is a seemingly obvious one that unfortunately needs reinforcing all the time: greater brand familiarity builds positive perceptions.  And, conversely, if people aren’t familiar with your brand, they are less likely to have positive perceptions.

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