Effects of Personalized Banner Ads on Visual Attention and Recognition Memory

Personalized Banner Ads

In the last decades, banners have been limitedly used for advertising purposes. In fact, banner are not so visible and users usually ignore them when they pop up from a website.

This study consists of a series of experiments that aim to verify if banners can be more effective if personalized with information concerning its content or context. We use banners as attention-grabbing devices and investigate the effectiveness of banners on memory recognition.

Materials and method:

  • To carry out this experiment we developed a utility tool in Flash Action Script 3 to build banners based on several images downloaded from internet sources. Several personalization factors were test, namely gender, moods, emotions, age group, the country. Where the web page is, type of browser being use, type of operating system being use, etc.
  • We built banners that are context-aware by means of the web page where they are displaying. Also, banners base on images downloaded from internet sources, banners with images related to products advertised, and banners with images unrelated to products advertised.
  • Participants were undergraduate students of NUIG of different ages, genders, and nationalities. The experiment was carry out in a control setting using banners personalize for gender, moods or emotions, age group, and country where the web page is being shown (). We measure the number of times banner ads are click by users when they appear in front of them while surfing on some sites belonging to our university websites. To verify if banners have an effect on individual recognition memory we use banners with images related to products advertised and banners with images unrelated to products advertised. The experiment was carry out in a control setting using banners personalize for gender, moods or emotions, age group, and country where the web page is.


  • The results of the study show that banners personalized for gender and nation (the banner appears in front of a Spanish student in Ireland) are more effective than banners not personalized (the banner appears in front of a Spanish student in Spain). Personalization factors such as moods, emotions, and age group showed no significant difference when compared against non-personalized banners.
  • In print media, a key factor in determining the success of advertisements is gaining viewer attention. When banners are personalized with a user’s name. Banners achieve an average increase in recall and recognition memory compared to non-personalized banners. In addition, banners that prompt viewers to recall the ad message increase both their visual fixation time and overall memorization. High visual fixation time leads to increased recall and recognition memory.
  • The banners are banners that are place in a magazine or newspaper. They can be either personalize banners or banners without personalization. Personalize banners have the viewer’s name in them while the non-personalize banner is just banners with no information about the viewer in the ad.
  • When performing this study, researchers asked students to take part in an experiment. Where they would view ads inside a magazine for 30 seconds each at different times. When they come across them in their normal activities for one week. The same ads were use during all sessions. But some were personalize or not depending on what was testing that day. The participants filled out a survey after each session as well as 1, 3, and 8 days. After the initial session to test their memory on these banners. Participants were also given a questionnaire to assess if they notice any change in the banners between sessions.
  • Participants’ eye movements were monitore with an eye tracker during each session. Researchers recorded whether or not participants looked at banners, how long they looked at them for, and where exactly on banners they focused on. They also analyze participants if they took breaks from looking at banners. While still focusing on other areas of the magazine. After analyzing all of this data, researchers found that personalized banners increased visual fixation time significantly. When compared to non-personalized ones. Regardless of whether or not someone was prompt to recall information about ads themselves. This suggests that personalized banners naturally capture viewers’ attention more. Researchers also found that banners that prompted participants to recall information increased. Both visual fixation time and recognition memory compared to banners without prompting. Banners with the prompt but no instructions, and banners with instructions but not the actual prompt.
  • “This study suggests that personalized banners stand out among other types of banners when placed in a magazine or newspaper. In addition, viewers tend to spend more time looking at personalize banners regardless of whether they are prompt or not.”


As expected banners personalized for user’s attributes like gender or nationality proved more efficient than banners impersonal ones.

By 12disruptors Admin

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