Effect of Visual Advertising Complexity on Consumers’ Attention

Document Type: Original Research


1 Associate Professor at Marketing Department, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

2 Researcher at Marketing Department, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania


The main mechanism of market economy – competition – has forced organizations to search factors influencing advertising effectiveness. Relying on the maxim “unseen – unsold”, the visual impression of advertising becomes crucially important. First visual impressions do often influence mid- and long-term human behavior and are influenced by factors such as context or visual complexity. The aim of this research is to determine the effect of visual layout complexity of advertising on consumers’ attentional resources engaged in processing an advertisement as well as evaluation and classification time of the advertisement regarding different levels of visual layout complexity. To reach the aim of the article, P300 event-related brain potential is recorded and analyzed. In the context of visual complexity of advertising, recording and analysis of P300 component reveal whether high visual advertising complexity leads to more attentional resources engaged in processing an advertisement as well as whether advertisement with high visual complexity is evaluated and classified slower. Moreover, questionnaire research is provided for the participants in order to assess the differences in attitudes towards the brands advertised with different layout complexity levels. As a research results, the effect of visual advertising complexity on cognitive processes such as attention allocation and its influence on the attitude toward the object is revealed and the managerial implications for creating effective advertising are provided. 


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