Men and Women Really Do See Things Differently
The old advertising adage "sex sells" may be recognized worldwide, but new research conducted by EyeTrackShop, creators of online eye-tracking technology, shows exactly how men and women are drawn into looking at a sexy ad.
Over a two-day span, 100 participants looked at three different online ads as a test:
- H&M showing a beautiful woman in a bikini;
- Reebok featuring a woman wearing nothing except shoes; and
- Saab with a picture of one of its car, along with product information and logo.
Consistent with previous studies, no gender-specific differences were revealed regarding eye gaze patterns. Men and women demonstrated an almost identical behavior regarding which parts of the ad that they looked at. On the other hand, the fixation order — the order in which respondents glance at different features of an ad — disclosed a surprising difference between the sexes. While men first looked at the face of the woman in the ad, women looked first at the torso of the almost-naked woman. Apparently, women gaze at other womens' bodies more eagerly than men.
The women in the study spent 20 percent more time looking at the legs of the woman in the H&M ad than the men did. The difference between the sexes in the Reebok ad was even more profound, as the women spent 36 percent more time looking at the undressed woman’s legs. In addition, while the women in the study spent time more gazing at the womens' bodies in the ads, the men spent more time looking at the womens' faces. In both of the ads, the men in the study spent 40 percent more time than the women looking at the womens' faces.
The results also showed that women, to a greater extent than men, spent time looking at the products displayed in the ads — i.e., the bikini and the shoes.