Smit, E. G., Boerman, S. C., & Van Meurs, A. (2015). The power of direct context as revealed by eye tracking. A new model tracks relative attention to competing editorial and promotional content. Journal of Advertising Research, 55(2), 216-227. doi: 10.2501/JAR-55-2-216-227.

Abstract: Many previous studies on attention have ignored the eye-catching potential of ‘direct context’—the entire promotional and editorial content an observer can view at the same time—in print media. In the current study, characteristics of 183 magazine advertisements and their direct context were coded systematically and linked to eye-tracking data, producing more than 19,000 observations. Expanding on earlier research, the authors focused on fixations within an advertisement during the first five seconds and attention paid to the combined main elements of an advertisement. Results showed that direct context diverted visual attention, especially when featuring multiple colors and large amounts of text.

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