80 nationally representative participants read a digitised copy of The Metro while their eye movements were recorded to reveal which ad gained the most attention.

Virign Mobile made this small ad format (20×2) work well for them by being careful not to include too much information & choosing a catchy, play-on headline to intrigue the reader. Virgin get straight to the point of the ad, highlighting their special offer by using contrasting colours for text and background, that also link with their brand identity
Virgin’s ad achieved 14% higher standout and 0.3″ longer engagement on avg. when compared to our normative database of over 3000 ads.

Virgin Not As Well Known For Their Mobile Network Deals?

Despite gaining the most attention compared to expected norms, Virgin did not perform as well on recall. Just 13% remembered spontaneously and 24% after being prompted.
However, Virgin currently only have a small market share as a mobile network provider compared to some competitors, which could weaken recall for them offering a mobile SIM deal.

Eye-catching ads like this, however, may help to improve the brand being better recognised as a mobile network provider in the future.

Top Tips for Small Ads

1. Keep your message clear and simple
2. Use contrasting colours so text stands out
3. Keep some negative space on your ad
4. Try a catchy headline to grab readers attention
Although smaller ads may have lower standout when compared to a full page ad, if done correctly you can still grab the majority of readers attention and save yourself a few quid!