How to Make Web Advertising More Effective

Internet users are presented with an overwhelming number of ads as they surf their favorite websites. These days, a significant number of these ads are animated. It is the job of marketing directors and their teams to create ads that grab customer’s attention in spite of all of the other ads cluttering the internet landscape. In order to achieve this, advertisers employ a variety of techniques. As it turns out, they may have been wasting their time. Researchers from the University of Buffalo School of Management have discovered that a simple factor is pivotal in influencing the way that customers view a product that is being advertised and whether or not they are willing to pay for that.

What is the big change? If the product being advertised reverses direction while it travels across the screen, customers viewing the ad are more likely to see that product as being one that is innovative.

Why does something that can be accomplished with some very basic design and technical know how result in such a strong reaction from people. It turns out that this has a basis in psychology. There are things that our brains are hard-wired to believe that inanimate objects do not do. One of these things is changing directions. When people see this happening, consumers subconsciously draw conclusions about the product. One of the strongest conclusions is that the product is novel and exciting.

Marketers who can create the perception that their product is novel have a much higher chance of finding success when they try to market their products. Researchers have conducted studies that demonstrate that when products are perceived to be particularly innovative, customers are apt to become engaged quickly and these items are more likely to earn companies more money.

Nearly 1000 customers participated in a study where they were asked to watch web advertisements for a variety of technical gadgets. Each advertisement represented a fictitious company. The researchers kept tabs on how well the participants paid attention, and they also asked them to rate whether or not the products were innovative.

The conclusion was that dynamic ads resulted in more attention and interest from consumers than still advertisements. This is fine, however in order to impact sales an advertisement must do more than grab attention.

When a product changes direction in an advertisement, this is known as kinetic property. According to the study conducted by PHD candidate Junghan King, these ads increased the perception of innovation more so than ads using other types of movement.

Another discovery made by these researchers was that kinetic property had the biggest influence on customers in advertisements that were designed to show small improvements in products over large changes. Industries where change comes quickly such as the technology sector and fashion were most likely to get positive responses from ads using kinetic property.

The reason that this is so important is the fact that most new products are not truly new. They simply new iterations of products, or they are the result of extending an existing brand. Marketing directors who work with small companies, who have limited budgets, and are hawking brands that do not fetch premium prices can leverage kinetic property. It is an excellent way to influence customer actions and fuel positive perceptions about brands and product innovation.

There is a catch to all of this. When consumers watched multiple advertisements using kinetic property, or when the ads featured multiple moving elements, the effectiveness was significantly reduced. For these reasons, marketers are encouraged to use this method judiciously so that it does not lose its impact.