Men Less Responsive to Internet Ads

Effect of Gender on Internet Ads
Men Women
Occasionally click on banners
43% 51%
Seldom click on banners
39% 29%
Motivated to click by curiosity
59% 63%
Motivation to click
(both sexes)
Curiosity 61%
Discounts 10%
with product
Sources of info. on new sites
(both sexes)
Internet searches 68%
Friends 67%
Internet ads 49%
Source: PC Data

Men are not as motivated to click on an Internet banner ad as women, according to a survey of 2,812 Internet users conducted by PC Data.

When asked how often they click on an Internet banner advertisement, one out of two (51 percent) women and two out of five (43 percent) of men said they do so occasionally. Nearly two-fifths of men (39 percent) and one-third of women (29 percent) said they seldom click on ads.

Animated ads are the most popular with all respondents (70 percent), followed by non-animated ads (23 percent) and pop-up ads (7 percent). Non-animated ads appeal more to men (25 percent) than women (20 percent). Pop-up ads are the least favored by both sexes at 6 percent for men and 8 percent for women.

Respondents rank curiosity about the subject of the ad (61 percent) as their primary motivator behind banner clicks, rather than discounts (10 percent) or familiarity with the product (10 percent).

“Although people enjoy animated ads, it is not the graphic content alone that makes them click through,” said Sean Wargo, Internet research analyst at PC Data Online. “Highly targeted ads that employ animation are frequently the real winners.”

In addition, when clicking banner ads, women (63 percent) are motivated more by curiosity than men (59 percent).

Even though banner click-through occurs only occasionally, men and women both rely on Internet ads as a source of information about new sites. Nearly half of the men and women (49 percent each) listed Internet ads as one of their top three sources of information about new sites. Internet ads followed immediately after friends and colleagues (67 percent) and Internet searches (68 percent).

PC Data’s survey was fielded August 4-6, 1999, to better understand how Internet users use Internet advertising. A total of 1,479 males and 1,333 females responded to the survey, yielding a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent. The sample was balanced by age and gender to represent the US Internet users as a whole.

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