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How to overcome online banner blindness? A study on the effects of creativity

Qiang Yang (School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China)
Yuanjian Zhou (School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China)
Yushi Jiang (School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China)
Jiale Huo (School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 9 April 2021

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

510

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore whether creativity can overcome banner blindness in the viewing of web pages and demonstrate how visual saliency and banner-page congruity constitute the boundary conditions for creativity to improve memory for banner ads.

Design/methodology/approach

Three studies were conducted to understand the influence of advertising creativity and banner blindness on recognition of banner ads, which were assessed using questionnaires and bias adjustment. The roles of online user tasks (goal-directed vs free-viewing), visual saliency (high vs low) and banner-page congruity (congruent vs incongruent) were considered.

Findings

The findings suggest that creativity alone is not sufficient to overcome the banner blindness phenomenon. Specifically, in goal-directed tasks, the effect of creativity on recognition of banner ads is dependent on banner ads’ visual saliency and banner-page congruity. Creative banners are high on visual saliency, and banner-page congruity yields higher recognition rates.

Practical implications

Creativity matters for attracting consumer attention. And in a web page context, where banner blindness prevails, the design of banners becomes even more important in this respect. Given the prominence of banners in online marketing, it is also necessary to tap the potential of creativity of banner ads.

Originality/value

First, focusing on how creativity influences memory for banner ads across distinct online user tasks not just provides promising theoretical insight on the tackling of banner blindness but also enriches research on advertising creativity. Second, contrary to the popular belief of extant literature, the findings suggest that, in a web page context, improvement in memory for banner ads via creativity is subject to certain boundary conditions. Third, a computational neuroscience software program was used in this study to assess the visual saliency of banner ads, whereas signal detection theory was used for adjustment of recognition scores. This interdisciplinary examination combining the two perspectives sheds new light on online advertising research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the editor and anonymous referees for insightful comments that significantly improved the paper. This work is supported by the China Scholarship Council (File No.202007000062).

Citation

Yang, Q., Zhou, Y., Jiang, Y. and Huo, J. (2021), "How to overcome online banner blindness? A study on the effects of creativity", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 223-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-12-2019-0212

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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