SAN FRANCISCO: Americans are twice as likely to ignore online ads as those on broadcast media or in print a new survey has revealed.

Goo Technologies, a Swedish web technology business, surveyed more than 2,000 American adults to assess the potential impact of gaming technology in the advertising space, as well as consumer behaviour around ads seen every day. It found that 92% of Americans ignored at least one type of ad.

Online ads were paid least attention, with 82% of respondents ignoring these, although some formats fared better than others. Just 59% said they took no notice of search engine ads, compared to the 62% who disregarded social media ads and the 73% who overlooked banner ads.

In addition, higher wage earners were more likely to ignore online ads, with 86% of those bringing in more than $100,000 a year doing so compared to 78% of those earning less than $50,000.

In contrast, traditional media performed much better with only 37% saying they ignored television ads. Similar figures were reported for radio (36%) and newspapers (35%).

"The results of the study point to a real concern for advertisers, mainly that online ads have become so pervasive that many say they are now ignoring them altogether," said Marcus Krüger, executive chairman, Goo Technologies.

But the research also pointed the way forward, showing that respondents found interactive ads more engaging. And when asked what would make them pay attention, three factors stood out.

Make it funny, said 40% of those surveyed, while, in a similar vein, 32% demanded more entertainment. A smaller proportion (19%) thought stunning graphics would grab their interest.

Millennials in particular were more than twice as likely as other age groups (21% vs. 9% of those ages 35+) to say they would pay attention to online ads if they were interactive.

Krüger suggested that "the application of innovative gamification methodology and interactive rich web graphics" was a route advertisers could consider if they wanted to close the gap on traditional media.

Data sourced from Goo Technologies; additional content by Warc staff