Last Updated Oct 12, 2011 11:16 PM EDT
But until recently no one really knew if advertisers' assumptions were accurate. EyeTrackShop fills that niche by literally tracking the eyeballs of consumers as they view ads and web pages and producing a heat map of the results. Red means an area of the ad got a lot of attention. Green, less so.
This example, featuring Reebok's EasyTone, shows that it's not news that when presented with a taut backside people will look at it:
But look how hard the rest of the ad is working -- great heat on the headline and the shoe itself. The company name got less attention than the dog, however, suggesting that the headline should have said "Reebok's EasyTone" and not "ReeTone," which is a pun on the product name.
Click on the gallery link for six more ads and web sites, from Google, Walmart and others, that show what you're really looking at when confronted by advertising.