The Eye-Tracking Evaluation of Outdoor Ads
This article is about the effect of outdoor advertising placed along highways by using eye-tracking at the request of Korea Out of Home Advertising Center. We found some variables related to effective evaluation of the outdoor advertising from the result of an experiment conducted by each of 30 drivers and fellow passengers. The results indicate that outdoor advertising managed by the government is more effective than private advertising and that fellow passengers tend to spend more time looking at it than drivers do. We expect these findings will be used for the pricing process of outdoor advertising.
Korea Out of Home Advertising Center is a government-affiliated organization that promotes the government’s finance income by selling outdoor advertising authorization along the highways. The government owns all rights on outdoor advertising and helps manage its size and revenues through regulations.
The center experiences conflicts in commercial rate levels with the advertising business operators because the basis used to divide the areas was unclear. Korea Out of Home Advertising Center estimated rate tariffs based on the car traffic and the location of the roads in the past. The advertising business operators, however, complained that the prices were high and claimed to have verification of the effect of outdoor advertising to standardize pricing tariffs. The center, therefore, decided to adopt an eye-tracking method to obtain a more objective as well as accurate measurement of the effect of outdoor advertising and requested Brain & Research to perform the task.
The goal of this research was to estimate the effectiveness of outdoor advertising so that it could function as a basis for designing the effect evaluation models in the future.
Outdoor advertising managed by the government on highways (A) and private operators in the downtown area (B).
Two highways and a boulevard of South Korea were chosen as locations for the research. There were 59 outdoor advertising sites managed by the government and 16 private ones. The total number of participants were 60 and two people took part in each experiment as a driver and fellow passenger by wearing an eye-tracker. The experiment lasted for a month in November 2014.
Experiment scene inside the car. A: both the driver and fellow passenger wear the eye-trackers, B: The operator sat in the back seat of the car.
The main hypotheses for this project are as follows:
- Does the outdoor advertising managed by the government have more perceptive effectiveness than the private one?
- Is there any difference in eye movement between a driver and fellow passenger?
- Is there any difference in effect due to the design, letters, location, shape etc.?
- Is there any difference in effect due to the speed, driving skill, gender, age etc.?
We undertook coding manually by checking the recorded gaze videos and omitted some of them that lasted less than 300ms. The dependent variables are, for instance, eye contact ratio, eye contact frequency, fixation duration etc. We conducted statistical verification for each group. The eye contact ratio is interpreted as a direct index for evaluation of advertising effect for those who looked at the outdoor advertising at least once.
A: Outdoor advertising managed by the government is more likely to have an eye fixation ratio that is more than twice that managed by private operators (p<0.000).
B: With respect to traffic volume, congested road circumstances significantly promote eye fixation frequency compared with non-congested.
C: The fellow passengers appear to look at the outdoor advertising more often than the drivers (p<0.04).
D: Outdoor advertising is more likely to have eye-fixation ratio as the distance from the road decreases (p<0.008).
The statistically verified hypotheses are as follows:
1. The outdoor advertising managed by the government has more than twice the eye contact ratio (44%) than privately managed (18%) , with increased duration.
2. The fellow passengers looked at the outdoor advertising more than the drivers.
3. The outdoor advertising attracts more eye contact ratio when it is closer to the road compared with further one.
4. The outdoor advertising is more likely to be effective when there is traffic congestion.
The phenomena that show a tendency without statistical validity (p<0.05) are as follows:
1. People are less likely to look at outdoor advertising when the visual circumstances are crowded.
2. The perceptive effect is more likely to be effective as the siting of advertising is relatively low vs. high.
3. The perceptive effect is more likely to be effective as the visibility distance increases.
The outdoor advertising built on the surface or top of buildings downtown, on the one hand, is less likely to have eye contact ratio since it is too high and the circumstances are crowded despite high flowing traffic. On the other hand, the outdoor advertising placed along the highways is more likely to have eye contact ratio compared to the advertising placed downtown. Considering the findings of this research, we suggest advertisers behave rationally in terms of price and a flowing population based on the objective data.
Many countries have been recently studying the effect of outdoor advertising by using an eye-tracking method. However, they undergo difficulties in controlling variables because of the different sizes and shapes of the outdoor advertising they are dealing with. In this research, we could control the variables since the Korean government maintains the size, shape, location of the outdoor advertising, so there is conformity and standardization.
In circumstances where the influence of TV decreases, we expect that the influence of outdoor advertising will now be increasing. Unlike TV viewer ratings, nevertheless, there isn’t any precise model for the effectiveness of outdoor advertising as yet. We believe that the development of precise and objective effect evaluation model is essential for the improvement of the advertising industry.
Rei Ryou (Brain & Research)