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Date: 30/10/2023
Author: Janick Rolli

Overcoming banner blindness: How your advertising stands out

The phenomenon of banner blindness

Surely you have heard of the phenomenon of banner blindness. It describes the widespread behaviour of internet users to consistently ignore advertising banners. They become virtually “blind” to this form of advertising. Banner blindness poses a serious challenge to marketing, especially when it comes to banner advertising. This ignorance of banners can massively impair the effectiveness of campaigns and thus the ROI (return on investment).

But don’t worry, there are strategies and tactics you can use to overcome banner blindness and make your banner ads more effective. In this article, we will give you valuable tips and tricks on how to design your banners so that they attract users’ attention and don’t get lost in the mass of information.

Why banner blindness is a problem

Banner blindness is not just a buzzword, but a serious problem backed up by statistics. Studies show that the click-through rate for many banners is often less than 0.1%. This means that the ignorance rate is extremely high and a large part of the users simply do not notice the banner ads.

This low awareness leads to a massive loss of reach and efficiency of your marketing campaigns. Worse still, the reduced success of your banners has a direct impact on your profitability. You invest money and resources in the creation and placement of banners that in the end hardly get any attention and therefore do not achieve the desired ROI.

The psychology behind banner blindness

Psychology plays a big role in understanding why banner ads are often overlooked. In the digital age, our senses are constantly overloaded. Images, texts, videos – they all vie for our attention. Our brain develops perceptual filters to cope with this flood of information. The result? Banner advertising often becomes “white noise” in the background of our consciousness.

In addition, certain design elements are ignored from the outset. For example, banners that look too promotional are often hidden as irrelevant.

Basics of effective banner design

To counteract banner blindness, some design basics are particularly important. Colour and shape are the first elements that the eye perceives. Colours should be chosen that not only match the brand, but are also contrasty enough to stand out from the web page on which the banner is placed. Brightness can also be used to attract attention, but don’t overdo it or the ad will look obtrusive.

The arrangement of the elements is another important point. Place the logo and the call-to-action (CTA) in such a way that they are easily recognisable and intuitive for the viewer. A clear and unambiguous CTA is essential to get the desired action from users.

5 Practical tips to overcome banner blindness

It’s time to put theory into action. Here are five practical tips to attract the attention of the target group and overcome banner blindness.

  • Creative headlines and titles: Your banner must catch the eye immediately. Experiment with powerful and creative headlines to attract users’ attention.
  • Use emotions: Studies have shown that human faces increase attention. A smile or other emotional facial expression can work wonders. But faces are not the only way to convey emotions. Colour psychology can also play an important role. Different colours trigger different feelings. While blue is often perceived as calming and trustworthy, red can symbolise energy and passion. Use these insights to your advantage to create an emotional connection with your audience.
  • Interactive elements: Consider integrating elements such as buttons, sliders or even small games into your banner ads. Interactivity can significantly increase user engagement.
  • Dynamic content and animations: Moving elements can also attract attention. But be careful: too much movement can also be off-putting or distracting.
  • A/B testing for optimisation: The best way to find out what works is A/B testing. Change one variable at a time and find out which is most effective.

Case studies: These banners got it right

There are numerous examples of successful banner advertising that have overcome the phenomenon of banner blindness. Here is a case study:

Disney+: free trial – Advertising

Why it works:

  • Familiar characters and brand logos: Disney+ used the power of its well-known characters and brand logos to draw users’ attention to its display advertising. This created an immediate connection with the target group.
  • Clear CTA: The ad includes a prominent CTA button at the bottom because users are curious and want to engage with the new Disney+ streaming service.
  • Eye-catching visual appeal: By featuring popular characters and recognisable logos, Disney+ creates visual appeal and communicates the wide range of content available on the streaming platform.

 Although the ad uses familiar characters and brand logos effectively, there is still room for improvement. Disney+ should consider using a more striking colour for the CTA button to increase its visibility and encourage user interaction.

Your next step in your banner advertising

Banner advertising is not a one-time endeavour, but requires continuous optimisation. To truly overcome banner blindness, you must be willing to constantly test, adjust and re-evaluate. Use the tips in this article as a starting point and implement them directly into your next campaigns.

If you need support, the digital M. team will be happy to assist you. From conception to implementation – we accompany you every step of the way to successful banner advertising. 

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