Ask any husband and he will admit: We’re lousy at noticing stuff. Especially pathetic when it comes to little details: shoes, jewelry, nuances in hair style. This is not limited to men/husbands; it’s a common human flaw.

Watch the video.

Around 50% of all participants fail to notice that when a person stops to ask them for direction and temporarily disappears behind a passing distraction, they reappear as someone else entirely.

We have limited capacity for attention

And it  gets worse when a moving object distracts the eye. When we focus on one thing, we become completely oblivious of all but that one specific thing.

No wonder banner ads perform terrible. Humans just don’t have the capacity to process that much visual information. We’re focused on getting a task done, not process additional information. And, what we’re processing is not valuable to brands. Millions are visiting the Yahoo! homepage each and every day. Multiple times. Even if you have the best animation and visual cues, a small share will even remember the kind of ad that was running. A tiny fraction will remember the vertical. And only 5 will remember the product name. 3 work for the agency, 2 for the brand.

Seriously, we’re just not designed to process this information in a meaningful way.

You will fail as a digital advertiser and succeed as a digital publisher

Think content. Think value. Think utility. Think being helpful. Think being a support system. And forget about chasing them. Instead, attract them with enticing content and interesting stories. Re-learn the art of storytelling and explore the science of journalism. Become a “real” voice with a POV, expressed through bold content.

You have no choice. Many will flock to great content. Nobody pays attention to your great online ad.