Online ads and the iPad: The banner is still king
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Online ads and the iPad: The banner is still king

Tobii Technology (, which specializes in eye tracking and gaze interaction, in partnership with Mediative ( -- a digital marketing company specializing, among other things, in market-leading digital performance analysis -- has released the findings of a new eye-tracking study, revealing that, regardless of device, the leaderboard banner ad remains the most visible and effective way to reach consumers online.

The study compares the consumption of online ads between a traditional computer and an iPad.

"The ways users consume media differ widely across devices, leaving mobile decision-makers to question the most effective placement and potential ROI [return on investment] of their advertising," says Gord Hotchkiss, chief strategy officer at Mediative. "Because of Tobii’s eye-tracking technology and analysis, we are now able to provide both quantitative and qualitative data that will support these decision-makers on how to best allocate their media spend across these widely popular devices."

The study, titled "The Effectiveness of Display Advertising on a Desktop PC vs. a Tablet Device," used the Tobii T60 Eye Tracker and Tobii X60 Eye Tracker and Mobile Device Stand to record the gaze patterns of participants and to measure what specific types of ads (leaderboard banner, skyscraper and big box) received the most attention on both a computer and an iPad. In regards to leaderboard banner ads, Mediative and Tobii researchers found the following:

° Most visible ad format on the iPad: leaderboard banner ads on the iPad performed significantly higher than other ads on the iPad, as consumers fixated on them 44% longer than the next best performing ad, thus engaging longer with its content.

° More visible on the iPad than on the computer: leaderboard banners held the user’s attention 22.5% longer on the iPad than on a computer. However, leaderboards on the the computer were seen more than twice as fast as on the iPad.

° Most effective attention grabber: for both the computer and iPad, leaderboard banner ads were the most effective in grabbing the consumer’s attention. Across devices, these ads were seen the quickest and had the highest percentage of people noticing them.

Based on these observations, the research team concluded that the top part of the web page still remains the most visible and most coveted real estate on the web, regardless of device. The team also recommends that, as the media landscape is becoming increasingly more fragmented by the availability of new mobile devices, online advertisers need to be mindful of the display ads they place as well as how they will most likely be consumed by the target audience.


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