Eye movements when looking at print advertisements: the goal of the viewer matters



Viewers looked at print advertisements as their eye movements were recorded. Half of them were asked to rate how much they liked each ad (for convenience, we will generally use the term ‘ad’ from this point on), while the other half were asked to rate the effectiveness of each ad. Previous research indicated that viewers who were asked to consider purchasing products in the ads looked at the text earlier and more often than the picture part of the ad. In contrast, viewers in the present experiment looked at the picture part of the ad earlier and longer than the text. The results indicate quite clearly that the goal of the viewer very much influences where (and for how long) viewers look at different parts of ads, but also indicate that the nature of the ad per se matters. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.