A new study throws light on the effect of ads on our memory. The study, the work of Chan Yun Yoo, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Journalism and Telecommunications, points out that apart from clicks (the most tangible advertisement metric), impressions of an ad also qualify for advertising a brand.
A quote from an article at Technology Review:
When people view Web advertisements, they store information in two different types of memory: explicit and implicit. Explicit memory involves facts learned through conscious interaction, while implicit memory involves unconscious retention. Explicitly remembered information includes ad slogans, product benefits, and Web site addresses. In contrast, implicit memory might only come into play when external stimuli trigger concepts. For instance, a consumer might only recall a brand of toothpaste from a television ad when he or she discovers it while browsing in a store. Or the consumer might develop an unconscious affinity for a certain brand despite not knowing specific facts about it.
The Web has emerged as an advertiser's heaven. The ability to target ads at users gives advertisers a lot more leverage compared to traditional media, such as television and print media. And let's not forget that the greatest technology of our times, Google, is now rolling out overlay ads on YouTube (Register). These are indeed some of the best times for the advertising business.