Desperate to figure out what kind of Web ads actually work, scientists at Disney (DIS) are wiring human subjects with all sorts of bizarre sensors to measure how they react to various types of ad units on various types of Web pages.
So far, they’ve discoverd that “flyout” ads next to videos perform as well as transparent overlay ads along the videos’ bottom edge.
A technician in a black lab coat gazed at the short, middle-aged man seated inside the Walt Disney Company’s secretive new research facility here last week, his face shrouded with eye-tracking goggles. Read ESPN.com on that BlackBerry, she told him soothingly, like a nurse about to draw blood. “And have fun,” she added, leaving the room.
In reality, the man’s appetite for sports news was not of interest. (The site was a fake version anyway.) Rather, the technician and her fellow researchers were eager to know how the man responded to ads of varying size. How small could the banners become and still draw his attention?
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