Banner Blindness – What Is It And How To Avoid It

By Amber Cruickshank

In life, it’s natural to become desensitized to things. Depending on your occupation, your movie or TV show preferences or even your video game or social media habits, it’s likely that you have become desensitized to one thing or another in your lifetime. Desensitization is an emotional response (or lack of response) due to repeated exposure of a stimulus. If we are repeatedly exposed to the same thing over and over again, our brain starts to lessen our responsiveness to it. 

In digital marketing, there is a fairly new type of desensitization called “Banner Blindness.” Yes, it’s a real thing. Have you ever been to Times Square? It’s a smorgasbord of digital and visual advertisements. How do you even begin processing anything when your brain is so hyper-loaded with stimuli?  Well, banner blindness is kind of like that. In a nutshell, it’s a form of selective attention where online users ignore information presented in banners. It can be conscious or unconscious but is usually done to avoid interacting with ads that tend to disrupt their user experience. 

As a Dealer, your business relies heavily on online advertising to attract potential customers. However, banner blindness can significantly hinder your ability to capture the attention of potential customers because when people ignore your ads, you don’t earn revenue or generate interest in your dealership. 

So the question is…how many promo banners are too many, and how do I avoid this digital illness called banner blindness that might be causing my banners to underperform?

First, it’s important to understand that if your banner ads are underperforming, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has anything to do with the design. You can have the most incredibly designed banners and still fall victim to banner blindness. Although there is currently no “click here to turn off banner blindness” button when finalizing your ad, here are a few things you can do to combat this form of digital desensitization. 

Too Many Banners are Never a Good Thing

  • Like the Times Square analogy above, too much information will overload the user, most likely turning them off completely. Stick to one banner and make it engaging with a good call to action. See below. 

Contextual Relevance

  • To combat banner blindness, focus on delivering highly relevant and targeted ads to your audience. Understanding your customers’ preferences, demographics, and browsing behaviour will enable you to create ads that align with their interests. You increase the likelihood of capturing their attention by tailoring your ads to match the webpage’s context or the user’s search intent. For instance, if a user is browsing for electric vehicles, displaying an ad highlighting the latest electric car models or offering a test drive can pique their interest and drive engagement.

Compelling Visuals and Messaging

  • In a sea of visual noise, designing visually appealing ads that stand out is crucial. Incorporate high-quality images, vibrant colours, and engaging typography to create eye-catching banners. Craft concise and compelling messaging that communicates your unique selling propositions and entices users to take action. To encourage immediate engagement, focus on creating a sense of urgency, such as limited-time offers or exclusive discounts. Combining attention-grabbing visuals with persuasive messaging allows you to break through the banner blindness barrier and capture users’ attention effectively.

Native Advertising

  • Native advertising presents an effective solution for car dealers to combat banner blindness. Instead of traditional display ads, native ads seamlessly blend with the surrounding content, making them appear more organic and less intrusive. Integrating your ad with relevant articles or informative content can provide value to users while subtly promoting your dealership and vehicles. Native ads enhance the user experience by delivering relevant information without disrupting their browsing flow. This approach not only helps overcome banner blindness but also builds trust and credibility with potential customers.

Let’s be clear, digital ads aren’t always a guaranteed hit, but they are essential in today’s cyber-driven world. Although banner blindness can pose a challenge for Dealers, there are ways to adapt and deliver meaningful, relevant banner ads that work. By understanding the banner blindness phenomenon and implementing strategies such as contextual relevance, compelling visuals and messaging, and native advertising, you can break through the noise and engage with your target audience effectively by maximizing your online presence, driving engagement, and ultimately increasing your chances of converting leads into loyal customers.

Got questions? As always, Leadbox is here to help. 


Digital Advertising