Too close for comfort: a study of the effectiveness and acceptability of rich-media personalized advertisingMiguel Malheiros, Charlene Jennett, Snehalee Patel, Sacha Brostoff, Martina Angela Sasse
Online display advertising is predicted to make $29.53 billion this year. Advertisers believe targeted and personalized ads to be more effective, but many users are concerned about their privacy. We conducted a study where 30 participants completed a simulated holiday booking task; each page showing ads with different degrees of personalization. Participants fixated twice as long when ads contained their photo. Participants reported being more likely to notice ads with their photo, holiday destination, and name, but also increasing levels of discomfort with increasing personalization. We conclude that greater personalization in ad content may achieve higher levels of attention, but that the most personalized ads are also the least acceptable.