Advertisers have less than half a second to make an impact among consumers on mobile, according to a study conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

Vassilis Bakopoulos, the MMA’s svp/research and insights, discussed this analysis at the trade body’s 2019 MMA Impact: Shape the Future conference in New York.

He said it takes less than half a second for two-thirds of the ads to be seen and cognitively recognised on mobile. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Why the first half-second of a mobile ad is a must-win moment.)

Typically, a brand will have approximately 0.4 seconds to make an impression on handheld devices, the study asserted – a timeframe that is shorter than for ads running on desktop.

“We might think too simplistically that [mobile and desktop] are probably much the same. But, according to this research, they’re not,” said Bakopoulos.

Specifically, the study showed it took the research subjects between two and three seconds to see, and cognitively recognise, a desktop ad – anywhere from 500% to 750% longer than the 0.4 seconds recorded for mobile devices.

Working with neuroscience research company Neurons Inc., the MMA established these findings based on a significant amount of data.

“To our knowledge, the neuroscience work that we did is the largest [such project] ever done, especially in the United States, with about 900 different sessions,” Bakopoulos said.

“The central focus of our research was to understand exposure time and how it relates to cognition in a mobile environment,” he explained.

“The best way to describe what we did is that we tried to put a big magnifying glass into the first three seconds of the life of a mobile ad.”

Bakopoulos asked his audience to imagine an ad appearing, unexpectedly, while they scrolled through their mobile feed.

“We wanted to understand how [that message] travels through your eyes, how that ad lands somewhere in your brain, and possibly starts causing something else inside your brain – something that even could be an emotion.”

Sourced from WARC