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Ad Blindness. What have you learned?
ugamis1

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 9:19 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Someone recently made referance to a concept I was thinking about, he labeled it Ad Blindness. The basic concept is that if an ad is displayed many times to a user he begins to filter the ad out as it is repetitive.

Anyone out there have any thoughts or ideas on the optimal number of text ads per adgroup?

 

dmorison

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 7:23 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think people who talk about "Ad Blindness" (plenty do, the person you heard it from probably wasn't the first!) are somewhat underestimating the unconscious power of the human brain.

Think about it - you can only mentally block something out if you are aware of it in the first place - even if that awareness is sub-conscious.

For a lot of advertising, that sub-conscious hit is enough! You might pick up a magazine during the ads on TV and think that you are under no influence from them whatsoever, but i'm sure that this is not the case. Even if you're not consciously thinking about the ads your brain still "heard" "da da da da da - I'm loving it" and somewhere in your brain the golden arches of McDonalds were formed.

So regarding your text ads, maybe re-enforcement (sticking with just 1 ad) is a good thing, because somebody searching your target keywords will see your ad the first time, and whilst they may not click on it that time they have took it in and will have to sub-consciously read it every subsequent time that it appears in order to "ignore it". In particular, if your ad starts appearing for different but related keywords perhaps the sub-conscious "ignore that ad" process of the person searching might eventually drop a note to their conscious side of things stating that your ad could well be worth clicking on...

cyhcto

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 7:59 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

An interesting question. Does that impression of the "da da da" count when you're driving down the street looking for a place to grab some lunch, or does your past experience and personal taste? If a McDonald's burger tastes like soy meat with slop on top to me, and a Jack In The Box burger tastes like a heavenly treat of beefy goodness, what matters?

I don't own a TV, by the way - but I did see two McDonald's billboards on the way to work. Before I stopped for a Breakfast Jack ;)

Mmmmm... breakkkfffassst Jaaaaackk.

eWhisper

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 3:15 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking a lot about 'ad blindness' the past few months and if it really even applies to SEM.

Ad Blindness was originally used on the web as 'banner blindness'. Meaning, if someone put up 10 million ads in a single month, after a while - you just ignore the banner as it was just part of the background.

Most of the early banners were untargeted. Often they were ROS, and one could easily see the same banner 100 times in a day.

These banners weren't related to what someone was looking for, they were just banners. This is the major difference between banner advertising and the 'ad blindness' concept compared to search.

Search is based on someone looking for your product. They are proactively searching for something (they might not know what yet - that's why they are searching). Therefore, text/image ads that are relevant to what they are searching for have a higher chance of catching someone's eye.

Once someone has found what they are looking for, do they really search for your product a month later looking to buy it again? For most products, it's a simple no. They already own it, and the people who are seeing your ads are a new set of searchers. With new searchers, ad blindness isn't a relevant concept.

For those who bought your product once, and looking to find you again - this is why one runs 'branding' ads (i.e. bid on your company/product name) - to make sure those repeat customers can find your site.

Of course, there are many buying cycles that involve many searches, and various lengths of times. This is the only place where banner blindness could have an effect. Although, if it's a blindness or a branding effect as they're not going to see it thousands of times before they choose a product, is really the question.

I've run a couple campaigns where the ads haven't changed in over 2 years. The CTRs have remained a steady 10%+ - and these types of campaigns just seem to show that there is no ad blindness in search marketing.

It's an interesting concept, and I can see arguments for it either way. However, I'm more inclined to think that for the vast majority of products, ad blindness doesn't apply to search marketing.

Thoughts?

justshelley

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 8:59 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is a curious topic. Most of the terms I work with would probably not be affected by Ad Blindness and I tend to test ads until I get "one" that gets high CTR's and then I stick with that one while it works.

But you are making me wonder about my clients who use their "brand name" or company name as a search term. I have one client in particular that has had his own brand name disabled repeatedly in spite of having a very successful Google campaign with all his other AdGroups.

I'm beginning to think that maybe I should be rotating several ads for that specific group of terms (company name and variations of the name) because it's such a specific search that would probably be repeated over and over. If I tested this, I would probably use three ads that would rotate. I don't use the optimize ad function so they would show up equally among the searches.

cyhcto

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 10:56 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Or perhaps a seperate ad group with not only the keywords and ads, but a sufficient set of negative keywords to eliminate any "false positives", should his brand name have any crossovers or variations. If it's something unique like "Geico", that shouldn't be a problem.

Heh, sorry to anyone who gets that :P

Syzygy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 11:35 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that you're all missing the point as far as 'blindness' is concerned and are assessing it by your own perceptions - not by the perceptions of those who see your ads in the environment they do. Objectivity is a rare quality in anyone.

Here is a simple, but classic test:

How many 'f's' are in this following sentence? (Yes, I know that it's an old one, but it is relevant)...

You get to read it once and in about one second (like an adword ad as far as your punters are concerned).

>
>

Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the years of experience

You've read it once now what's your answer?

There are six 'f's'. Check again if you didn't perceive them.

Likely you got three or four. This emphasises the point. We percieve the 'f's' as the 'v' sound.

'Blindness' does exist in many forms. You can switch off and you assume... I assume that every ad for 'the world's favourite auction site' is crap when they pop up on my searches. This is 'blindness' at a different level.

It's not that I don't see it - I just don't want to know, even though it could be useful to me. It is associative to my skepticism, thus I ignore it; I am 'blind' to their advertising.

How often are you 'blind' to adverts and promo's of any description yet you have the ability to 'cleverly' filter it out?

So do your punters...

Syzygy

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 1:17 am on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is an excellent topic for discussion.

Another form of "ad blindness" I think is when a user sees the AdWords adspace cluttered with numerous irrelvant ads so frequently nowadays, like ebay "Buy KEYWORD" ads and sites that do not provide anything about the keyword, that such irrelevance "teaches" them to be "blind" toward even bothering to look at the AdWords adspace anymore. So, the peril of G$ allowing irrelevant ads could very well be directly creating this kind of "ad blindness" too.

Syzygy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 1:40 am on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is an excellent topic for discussion.

Another form of "ad blindness" I think is when a user sees the AdWords adspace cluttered with numerous irrelvant ads so frequently nowadays, like ebay "Buy KEYWORD" ads and sites that do not provide anything about the keyword, that such irrelevance "teaches" them to be "blind" toward even bothering to look at the AdWords adspace anymore. So, the peril of G$ allowing irrelevant ads could very well be directly creating this kind of "ad blindness" too.

Thank you, Multiman, that was pretty much the focus of my point (although not specifically about vowelBay...)

Syzygy

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4092 posted 1:49 am on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

You're welcome.

You made an excellent point.

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