First second counts – mobile ads processed emotionally within a heart beat

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. March 11, 2019

Advertisers may have little time to convince customers of their products or services. The human brain requires roughly 400 milliseconds to engage with mobile ads and make a positive or negative judgment. Within a blink, a consumer has processed a mobile ad and within a single heart beat they have decided on an emotional response.

These are the findings of a new study by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) in collaboration with the Advertising Research Foundation (The ARF).

The cognition study further found that over 67% of ads had been seen or were cognitively recognised in 0.4 seconds.

Overall, ads within mobile feed environments were perceived faster and triggered stronger cognition compared to desktop. The average desktop ad took 2-3 seconds to be seen and cognitively recognised.

However, cognitive processing is quicker for known brands. These stimulate both a faster and often more emotional response.

Meanwhile, video ads were found to be twice as likely to create an emotional response than static ads within faster exposure speeds (0.7 seconds).

Adverts which are perceived as weak tend to be processed faster and also stimulate a negative response in less time.

These findings show that although brands tend to be encouraged to focus on shorter video formats these days, the first second is what counts. As such, video ad strategies should particularly focus on capturing attention in the very first second.