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Fairfax Media Uses Eye Tracking to Show Ad Effectiveness

Tyrone Stewart

Fairfax Eye Tracking Ads 360 VideoFairfax Media, the company behind The Sydney Morning Herald, has launched a campaign – following an eye tracking research study – to show how advertisers can get their ads noticed by a larger number of people on both mobile and desktop.

Fairfax’s eye tracking study analysed ‘visual behaviour to determine the ad creative, positioning and formats that capture’ the attention of digital audiences. The study looked at the visual behaviour of smh.com.au  readers on desktop and smartphone – to discover what kind of advertising gets the most attention.

As part of the campaign, a 360° video uses interesting visuals to present the key insights found during the study. These key insights include: that advertisers only have milliseconds to connect with their audience; advertising must have simple messaging, contrasting colours and a prominent logo; large ads, specifically large breakup ads, on smartphones get 81 per cent more eye gaze than a standard banner; and relevant native ads gain the most attention.

Fairfax claims the research, which was carried out in partnership with Gateway Research, shows that advertisers should ‘invest more time and money to develop quality creative for the format’ and use creative testing and benchmarks to optimise banner effectiveness. Furthermore, mobile ads, in similar positions, get as much attention as desktop ads, and the combination of gutters with top MREC delivers more eye gaze than lower MREC alone.

Meanwhile, consumers are said to be spending up to one and a half minutes some of Fairfax’s Brand Discover ad content. Fairfax found this was down to an overall acceptance in native advertising, if the content is good. The best performing Brand Discover content came from the likes of Ford, WA Tourism and ASX.