Smit, E. G., & Neijens, P. C. (2006). It’s all about catching readers’ attention. In S. Diehl & R. Terlutter (Eds.), International Advertising and Communication: New Insights and Empirical Findings (pp. 43-68). Gabler Verlag/Deutscher Universitätsverlag.

Abstract: The aim of our study is to show how readers pay attention to ads embedded in national newspapers. A total of 26,556 respondents were surveyed about their reading behavior, their recognition of ads published in the previous day’s newspaper, and their appreciation of these ads. Several measures were used to evaluate attention at the different levels of ad processing. The 290 advertisements included in the study were then content analyzed and related to the readers’ responses. Results showed that media position (i.e., prominent position in the newspaper), ad layout (bigger size) and ad content (more colors) had a stronger influence in the first attention phases (where pre-attention and focal attention are drawn) than in subsequent phases. On the other hand, reader characteristics (reading intensity, ad liking, and involvement) had a stronger influence in subsequent attention phases, where comprehension of the message and elaboration take place