NEWS: JWT Internet research gives advertisers an idea of users’ preferences

Internet users feel a strong compulsion to click on every ad when they visit a site for the first time, no matter how irrelevant or uninteresting they may seem.

Internet users feel a strong compulsion to click on every ad when they

visit a site for the first time, no matter how irrelevant or

uninteresting they may seem.



The most popular sites are those that ‘talk back’ to users or allow them

to customise an E-mail message or download free software. On the other

hand, ads that offer prizes or the chance to win money provoke user

cynicism.



These are just some of the findings of a groundbreaking study into Net

usage by J. Walter Thompson, in conjunction with the Cyberia Cafe.



The study also found that, perhaps worryingly for international

advertisers, many sites are still regarded as too American or European,

even though they are intended for global consumption.



The study, called Project Iris, was a pilot project carried out by JWT’s

specialist division, InSitu. It was conducted in an naturalistic manner,

which involved using video cameras and microphones to record individual

navigational and search behaviour on the Net and simultaneously record

users’ thoughts and comments about the sites they visited.



The initial study involved a representative sample of 100 Net users in

the Cyberia Cafe.



In June, JWT plans to roll out a more complete version of Project Iris.

This will involve a 12-month study using a representative panel of 2,000

experienced and novice, young and old Net users.



It will include tracking children to monitor how interests and usage

patterns change over time. There will also be an opportunity to extend

the panel across Europe.



James Walker, media development director at JWT, said: ‘A lot of people

have counted the number of users accessing sites. But we believe this

study will reveal how the medium can most effectively be used by

clients.’



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