//About Faces: Why You Should Not Post Faces in Your Ads

About Faces: Why You Should Not Post Faces in Your Ads

 

 

It can be difficult to find an advertisement that does not appear clearly on an individual's face. A quick search in the images of Moat displays an inventory of announcements for Wells Fargo illustrating what I am talking about:

 The Wells Fargo Faces in Advertising Example "width =" 1024 "height =" 560 "/> </a></p><p> Almost all results include happy people of different ages and races to support a "click to learn more" request.</p><p> <a href= Digital marketers tend to use people in their advertisements. After all, human faces can add warmth and emotions that help support the desired tone for a specific brand or product.

But there is a big problem: using faces can drastically affect the performance of your ads.

Facing the misconception

Our eyes gravitate towards the faces of human subjects. At first glance, this could be considered a strategic element: just use human faces in the ads to get more attention. Unfortunately, attracting attention is the easiest part. keeping it is a challenge. This is seen in Facebook users on mobile devices that engage in content for an average of of 1.7 seconds before continuing.

Observers have another trend that marketers should take into account: instead of reading the title of an image, the consumer will ignore it and direct its attention to the image it will -even. A recent eye study entitled " Eyes Can not Be Ignored " demonstrated this effect with a web page showing a baby looking directly at the reader.

Although the page has a headline and supporting text, the baby's face attracts most of the attention. For marketing purposes this ad failed because the images alone rarely convey all the information associated with an ad.

In addition to attracting the wrong kind of attention, faces can also unintentionally alienate some viewers. Human beings do not hesitate to make judgments about other human subjects, and the Perception Institute explains that everyone has some degree of implicit bias . Showing faces in ads may be attractive to specific customers, but since most target audiences include important and diverse demographic data, you also run the risk of giving an unfavorable impression.

An adage that I like to follow when I consider a target audience is "resonate; do not alienate, "and more often than not, the faces do this.In my years of testing cross-channel ads on billions of impressions at AOL, I quickly discovered that ads with people almost always depressed readers 'or viewers' responses: Ads that are not photographed or have a more neutral use of photography in the environment are more effective than those that primarily appeal to the human face.

3 faceless visual approaches to consider for a better answer

In the end, there are many ways to include visual elements in your advertising campaigns to strengthen engagement in all areas.

Here are three to help you get started:

1. Environmental photography

Photography is an important source of effective advertising, but beware of the obvious people-centered approach. If you are advertising a TV subscription service, mix up the normal portrait of a smiling family eating popcorn on the couch. Instead, show the family in the same living room environment with a view from behind to emphasize the TV experience, ideally with something convincing on the screen.

2. Product images

Another approach is to focus on the visuals related to what you sell. For example, if your product is Internet, display a catchy message on a laptop or tablet. Some might think that this approach conveys less personality than lifestyle photography, but a product-centric approach surpasses almost every time.

3. Creative Illustrations

Although this is not the best approach for all brands, illustrations are another effective way of spreading the inevitable judgment of the viewer. For example, image ads are largely responsible for Duluth Trading Co.'s impressive growth in the competitive apparel industry. That depends on your brand and the product and service you sell, but illustrations with less realistic representations of people should have fewer adverse consequences for the answer. So, if you really want to show a person who is experiencing your product or service, use your best judgment to determine if a more distinctive illustration approach is the right choice.

Humans are a social group and it is in our nature to have positive and negative subliminal responses when we relate to each other. As a marketer, it's important to keep these associations positive. By using photographs that place a strong emphasis on the human face in commercials, you risk undermining commitment and reaction . Although it takes a little too much extra effort, think about environmental photography, visual elements of the product or even illustrations for better results.

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