29 eye-tracking heatmaps reveal where people really look is a great article on Business Insider by Gus Lubin and Hayley Hudson that was posted earlier this year.
Using eye-tracking software such as Sticky, they have created heat maps showing where consumers’ eyes gravitate to when looking at different things and how results can differ based on gender (male trends emphasise a focus on the face and groin, and spend more time looking at models, whereas women are shown to focus much more on the face whilst also reading the rest of the ad).
From an advertising perspective, I was caught when scanning this article by the difference in consumer focus shown in the two slightly different ads for Sunsilk ‘Passionately Red’ shampoo as, despite my own focus fitting the trend completely, I’d not considered that the featured model’s focus would subconsciously influence my own.
Interestingly, as well as an image showing that placing a product slightly left-of-centre in a store display gets the most attention from customers, there is also an example of a gaze plot which shows where eyes are focused when faced with a shelf of shampoo products. This is interesting because it raises the issue of how things are branded for the FMCG sector and the effectiveness of different approaches to packaging, as well as the impact of consumer psychology on the importance of where things are shelved in-store.
All in all, a great piece; definitely one to browse during a coffee break.