Steven Krug said that websites are like billboards passing you by at 60 miles an hour. (1) You, the visitor to a web page, are like a driver, task-oriented and moving. He also gives an interesting image of how visitors look at a webpage, and how the website creator intends visitors to look at them:
According to Krug, visitors spend about 7 seconds sizing up a website, the approximate time required for a driver to glance up at a billboard before getting back to the driving. This is disheartening for digital marketers looking to advertise their products on a website that is content-rich, but the truth is, there is a way to make visitors stay longer on the webpage and engage themselves using what is called in ad lingo “visual scandal”.
In simple terms, “visual scandal” is a creative advertisement that uses images to hold the attention of the visitor through positive reaction (intrigue, admiration, humour, etc). In the following example, Santa Claus, the iconic giver of happiness and gifts, is seen handing out a pack of Camel cigarettes. The visual scandal is perfect in this one, because it uses humour to place two outrageously different images together. On the one hand the Santa of your childhood punishes you for being bad, and on the other, he is handing you a good smoke. Sometimes, a little naughtiness goes a long way in making an ad feel more right, or even get more press:
Visual scandal is taken to another level when advertisers begin to think outside the box and use the periphery of the ad space to integrate the idea into the page where it is to appear. In the following example you see an illustration of this. Google uses its own platform Google+ to advertise for its browser Google Chrome by using the Chrome logo as special items in a game. The logo blends with the page but still works as an advertisement.