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Science Tells Us Which Online Ads Work

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A new Disney research lab here in Austin, Texas just performed a study on consumers and their reaction to various types of online advertising. The objective was to learn about the ads consumers don't click on - the ones they notice nonetheless and perhaps store mentally for later. Participants were asked to look at mirrors of sites they normally enjoy such as ESPN.com, and the New York Times reports that "the tools are advanced: in addition to tracking eye movement, Dr. Varan and his 14-member team use heart-rate monitors, skin temperature readings and facial expressions (probes are attached to facial muscles) to reach conclusions."

Disney has also gone to great pains to keep its brand from influencing participants. The research facility in Austin is alongside Interstate 35 and the sign outside says only, "Media Panel." The advertising industry anticipates that the findings of this research will be quite useful to a number of companies aside from Disney.


Curt's company has software that helps the accidental project manager.

Last updated: Sep 3, 2009




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