Grabbing Attention with Online Ads

People love to look at people. When you show faces, you grab attention. When you show most anything else, you lose attention.

EyeTrackShop is a crowd-sourcing research firm that employs people all around the world to look at advertising or store fronts or anything you like. These lookers around the globe use web-cams with technology that has been calibrated to their eyes and look at your ad for you in their spare time. The collaboration of all these views gives you a good feel for what is and what isn’t attracting attention in your ad or on your online page.

As well, they have shown that the best place for your ad in an online page is top left above the fold (print lingo for what’s showing on the screen before you scroll down).


I found these photos in an article by Zoe Fox, writing for Mashable. I then went to the EyeTrackShop website for more on the technology. You can sign up to have ads checked or you can licence the technology. I would worry that the viewers might eventually or even at the beginning, be biased, but I’d have to read more on EyeTrackShop’s due diligence before recommending it. They do control for a number of potential biases like time of day, gender and media outlet.

They have coined the term “realCPM” to take the guesswork out of ad placements. They translate what the ad company says you are getting into what you are really getting. Of course, this doesn’t directly relate to successful selling, but it certainly is a good starting point. Banner ads do best, followed by left then right placements above the fold.

The report you receive shows the percent of people who saw the ad, how long they looked at it, how long it took for them to notice it and if they recall your brand later on.

Have a look at these sample test images. Faces!