The Impact of Animated Banner Ads on Online Consumers: A Feature-Level Analysis Using Eye Tracking

Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22, 1 (2021), pp. 204-245.

HKUST Business School Research Paper No. 2021-002

42 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 6 Oct 2021

See all articles by Weiyin Hong

Weiyin Hong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Muller Y.M. Cheung

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management

James Y.L. Thong

HKUST Business School

Date Written: January 9, 2021

Abstract

Despite the popular use of animated banner ads on websites, extant research on the effects of web animation has generated mixed results. We argue that it is critical to identify feature-level animation characteristics and examine their individual and combined effects on capturing online consumers’ attention across different task conditions. We identify three key animation features (i.e., motion, lagging, and looming) based on three attention theories and investigate their effects on online consumers’ attention and recall across browsing and searching tasks in three laboratory experiments using an eye tracking machine. Experiment 1 found that both motion and looming (animation features) are effective in attracting online consumers’ attention to animated ads when they are performing a browsing task. However, combining a salient feature (e.g., motion) with another salient feature (e.g., looming) does not improve the original attention attraction effect, suggesting a “banner saturation” effect. Further, we found that online consumers’ attention positively affects their recall performance. In Experiment 2, none of the animation features or their interactions had a significant effect when the subjects were performing a searching task, indicating that task is an important boundary condition when applying attention theories. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 1 in a more realistic context and produced similar results. We conclude the paper by discussing theoretical and practical implications as well as avenues for future research.

Keywords: Online Consumers, Online Advertisement, Website Design, Animation, Banner Ads, Attention, Eye Tracking, Human-Computer Interaction

JEL Classification: M15, M37

Suggested Citation

Hong, Weiyin and Cheung, Muller Y.M. and Thong, James Y.L., The Impact of Animated Banner Ads on Online Consumers: A Feature-Level Analysis Using Eye Tracking (January 9, 2021). Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22, 1 (2021), pp. 204-245., HKUST Business School Research Paper No. 2021-002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3762904

Weiyin Hong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

Muller Y.M. Cheung

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

James Y.L. Thong (Contact Author)

HKUST Business School ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://jthong.people.ust.hk/

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