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Here's Why You Don't Remember That Ad You Just Saw

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Turns out, most of us aren't giving as much attention to online ads as publishers might hope. In fact, for all the effort and money that goes into creating ads and strategically placing them at the top of a web page, most viewers aren't looking for more than five seconds.

A new study by Chartbeat on the success of internet ads found that about half of "viewable impressions" are only seen for 1-5 seconds. In other words, Internet users are looking at a given ad for up to five seconds and then moving on.

Here is the full chart, via Chartbeat:

ad impresssion

What's interesting though, is that research also says that after 10 seconds of viewing an ad, the ability for someone to recall that ad begins to diminish. Thus, 6-15 seconds is the optimal viewing time for an ad to make the greatest impression, Chartbeat said.

Considering how easy it is to scroll down or click away from a web page, the study noted that a brand just looking to get its name out there is better off creating a shorter spot. Internet advertising was the fastest growing platform in 2013, up 32.4 percent with record breaking revenue-- but television still remains the largest medium in terms of ad spending.

But what the study suggests is that the difference in how viewers look at online ads versus television ads is a difference worth noting. Whereas the average television commercial is around 30-60 seconds, those who view an online ad for 30 seconds probably aren't going to recall more than those who view it for much less time.

(h/t: Poynter)

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