Exploiting the Zeigarnik Effect in banner ads

pringles

This marvellous banner campaign by Pringles may have done the rounds already but I have to admit I discovered it only recently. What I like about it though is the fact that it takes advantage of what is known as the Zeigarnik Effect, a form of cognitive behaviour where you feel compelled to finish what you’ve started.  I’ve written about this human trait before in a previous post about maximising email communications but it’s interesting to see it applied here in a simple banner ad.

The ad begins all fairly innocuously by inviting the viewer to click on the call out button.  However, what ensues is a light-hearted dialogue which you feel compelled to maintain by clicking the button again and again and again! I don’t know about you but I just had to keep clicking until it reached its eventual conclusion.

I can’t think of another banner campaign which has held my attention for so long – and all because of that human instinct to want to finish what you’ve started.  Very clever, very original and very entertaining.

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