Banner Ads Still Ignored By Most Web Users

ClickZ looks at a new study from the Nielsen/Norman Group which finds internet users still suffer from “banner blindness”; the condition that rich media advertisers find most annoying.

“People are not looking at the typical blinding, graphical ads,” said Nielsen Norman Group Director of Research Kara Pernice Coyne. “They are not [looking] enough time to absorb a complex ad or branding message.”

The study doesn’t really reveal anything new. Marketers have seen the decline of banner-ad click-thrus for years, and we all know that it takes a particularly eye-catching banner ad to see any success these days.

Ironically, the study reveals that banners that look more like simple text, end-up doing well.

There’s still hope for online ads. Pernice Coyne said graphical ads with text and contrasting colors, like white text on red, is less likely to be disregarded. “They’re looking at them if they’re text,” she said. “I hate to sound boring, but [it is best] if you can make sure your ad is something simple, text or a recognized logo, and it needs to be relevant to the page.”

The article concludes with suggestions that sponsored search still attracts the “eye” but warns that too many irrelevant text ads, could cause internet users to start filtering these out as well.