Study: Banner ads trigger warm, fuzzy feelings

A recent study in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research posits that banner ads leave a mental imprint, even when users aren't paying attention, Science Daily reports. The majority of ad exposure occurs when the audience's attention is diverted - flipping through a magazine, waiting for a television show or loading a website. However, given repeated exposure, brief and subconscious ad encounters may endear certain brands to consumer perspectives. This is because repetition leads to familiarity, which in turn yields positive feelings, researchers found. In addition to more positive associations with brands to which they were frequently exposed, participants also exhibited high levels of tolerance for banner ads in their general periphery, even if their focus was elsewhere. Notably, even 20 exposures did not trigger wear-out effects in the viewers. The study, entitled "An Examination of Different Explanations for the Mere Exposure Effect," appears in the June edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. Its breadth revisits and reinterprets theories of exposure advertising, particularly those related to Web-based banner ads. Source: Marketing VOX

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