No matter how you feel about them, banner ads are here to stay. However, what forms they may take in the near future are subject to debate from designers, marketers, and psychologists alike. One study shows that banner ads may not generate much in the way of “click-thru’s” but they do help shape opinion regarding a product and/or service.
John Timmer, on Ars Technica says,
There is a long history of experiments that show that repeated exposure to a stimulus that’s barely perceptible can enhance a person’s feelings towards what’s otherwise a neutral object. These feelings can include a liking or more subjective things such as “fame, truth, duration, loudness, stimulus brightness and darkness.” The authors hypothesized that banner ads should work well as such a stimulus, given that “most viewers pay minimal attention to banner ads.”