Imagery – The Power of Photos and Video in Advertising

By Moss Jacobson


Visual recognition takes time to develop in newborn humans; in fact, some research says that it can take upward of 2 months for a baby to fully distinguish people’s faces. Humans maturation of sensory perception from mere detection of large contrasts between light and dark to full awareness of all the colors, images,even textures we can recognize with sight, gives marketers a valuable, yet complicated, tool for delivering ad messages.

Creative visualization in advertising goes back to the earliest days of print and billboards; a Google search will bring up more than enough ads to capture your attention and cause a major delay in productivity (do not try this at work!). Of course, the focus now is the evolution to digital photos, and video, and imagery across all sizes of viewports, massive out of home display screens, skyscrapers, and even hundreds of illuminated drones in the sky. From simple, print ad images that clearly define a message, to complex animated display ads and videos testing the boundaries of what consumers will tolerate as we browse the internet and use smartphones. This is why the visuals of ads are more important than ever.


Your Consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 messages a day!

In the early 2000’s, marketing professionals often touted that consumers were exposed to more than 2,500 advertising messages every day. Today, the AMA notes studies showing that average consumers are bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages daily. The AMA further notes that people switch between screens up to 21 times per hour and the average attention span is now a mere eight seconds. Furthermore, there is belief one must see a message between seven and twenty times before taking an action. Eye-tracking research shows that internet readers spend more time looking at images than text on a page. Facebook had this figured out with the previously in-force 20% text rule (now they classify the text density into 4 categories to determine limitations of reach for the most dense ads) which may have confused many, but surely presents an image-rich environment. And now, adding in auto-mute for online video, more than ever, it’s about what we see.


Imagery delivers…

The lesson here is to get more creative with imagery in ads. That’s not to say Geico’s ‘Unskippable’ pre-roll ads were not creative, but they still relied on sound. Think more along the lines of these respected video ads: Hefty’s ‘Office Party’, Under Armour’s ‘It Comes From Below’, or the Jason Bourne 6-second trailer. These examples deliver a distinct visual message accomplished with just the images. Rich-media display ads with movement and/or video will achieve high levels of engagement, too; especially when tied to a brand’s custom, visual content.


So while radio is undoubtedly the ultimate, cut-thru-the-clutter, low-CPM, reach medium, marketers using the best photo and video imagery deliver compelling ad messages in the blink of an eye. Take a second and critical look at the effective use of your brand advertising imagery.



Looking to take your imagery to the next level, contact Connoisseur Digital creative team, 888-819-2336.

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