What is banner blindness and can it be cured?

Campagion Article Banner-Blindness title
Campagion Article Banner-Blindness title

Banner blindness means that certain areas of a website with a typical ads design are often not seen at all.

Just relax - It is not a disease but a vital brain strategy!

Phew, there you go. As an advertiser, you don't like to hear that it's vital for people not to see advertising. That's intense 😊. But I'll calm you down right away: People who are interested in your products won't be affected, if your advertising is done well. This is not like 'selling ice to Eskimos', the interested individual will still be the one attracted and buy.

Being unaware does not equate blindness!

Let’s get down to the facts and correct the definition, just for the sake of accuracy: Certain areas with certain types of presentation are consciously not seen. This insight into banner blindness comes from a study conducted more than 20 years ago. Its claim is still valid still today. Beyond that, of course, there are reasons why this phenomenon exists and they lie in the function of our brain. And it goes like this: We see everything that happens around us, but our brain has a built-in filter setting without which we would go crazy. We constantly take in all kinds of sensory impressions through our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin. But only a fraction of these pass from unconscious to conscious perception. Our brain decides exactly what these impressions are.

Humans are essentially dependent on this function because we could not consciously process all the information available to us. Only the most necessary and important information enters our "active" thinking. Our brain decides what the most important information is, what the situation is and employs various criteria to assess this. Danger is always at the top of the list. That's obvious. You know this for sure: you're lying on the beach, engrossed in a book in which some Super Bond is saving the world, and you block out everything else.

Campagion Article Banner-Blindness photo-cat
Campagion Article Banner-Blindness photo-woman
Campagion Article Banner-Blindness photo-icecream

But the tiger that has just escaped from the zoo and is walking hungrily along the beach, you still see it in time before it eats you. Or even the pretty woman passing in front of you in the shallow water you notice as if by magic. Or the ice cream van 😉. In any case, only the most important things, the things that are even more important than what you are currently focusing on, enter your consciousness.

No one is interested in advertising.

And it's the same with banners. That's why the areas where experience shows that advertisements are to be found are not brought into consciousness by the brain. While you are reading an article on climate change, you don't even notice the banner ad on the right, where the XXXLutz supersale is advertised. Nor would you be able to recount the Rewe advertisement in the next article in a spontaneous interview, even with waterboarding support.

But did you see the advertisement for the best saucepan in the world! Why did you see it? Maybe because the topic interests you at the moment? And your brain has decided that its owner, who has already spent hours looking at saucepans with or without coating, or with a copper core, or 7-ply aluminium, etc., should bring this banner to his attention. Because the brain has decided, based on past interest, that it is also important now. And then what do you do? The guy who never clicks on banner ads because he doesn't see banner ads? The guy clicks. Then he does. And that's how most people are.

Most people never click on ads because they don't see them. Except for the ads that do interest them.

In times of focused banner blindness

The degree to which banner blindness occurs depends on whether someone is very focused at the moment, or whether someone is compensating for boredom. The more focused you are, the harder our brain's interest-pay-wall is set. The less focused, the more information away from the focus enters the consciousness.

What does this mean for advertising on Pornhub?

So what does this mean specifically for our use of advertising on Pornhub? We have an audience that is more broadly distributed and in the highest numbers than almost anywhere else. Pornhub is a mass medium. Therefore, every topic of every industry will find its target audience, because there is enough interest for popular products and solutions.

Furthermore: The part of the visitors on Pornhub who pursue the respective research activity for pure pleasure and do not pursue highly concentrated video field studies is relatively high ;-). The chance that the user will actively see an advertisement if there is interest in the product is therefore damn good.

Many, many Touchpoints

And one more thing: nothing that the unconscious has perceived is really ever gone again, even if it didn't find its way into the conscious mind right away. Nowadays, we need much more contact with a brand than we did a few years ago. In the past, three contacts with a brand were enough to build up enough trust to eventually become a customer. Today, we tend to assume at least 7 Touchpoints are necessary to at least turn potential customers into warm leads. Now, of course, no customer actively counts, but in order to come to so many contact points, the unconsciously perceived banner advertisements also help, as soon as an advertisement on any channel changes to active thinking.

So how does an advertiser deal with the issue of banner blindness?

First of all, stay cool. The potentially interested party is not affected as much as it sounds at first. The important thing is that the banner is well, professionally and intelligently designed. The agency must use your corporate design and your USP as cleverly and inspiringly as possible, and create several videos and animated gifs from them.

Due to the lack of precise targeting, the target group is mainly addressed through the design of the advertisement. You are welcome to let us create them for you. We have already been able to gather quite a bit of experience here 😊.

The successful design of videos and banners ultimately not only contributes to the clicks, but also massively influences the further potential attention that your brand will receive in the future from users who have "only" unconsciously noticed your advertising. After all, the user has seen it.

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