Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Babies or babes in advertising?

While some ad agencies seem to find any excuse available, for showing off female model wearing close to nothing (the current record is held by this brazilian manufacturer of highlighter pencil, and if you look close enough you can see one up in the upper left corner) no matter what the product they are pushing, chances are that they chose the wrong model.

Research shows that baby pictures might be a better way to capture the attention of the beholders and, at the same time, create a positive feeling about the brand.

It is known that lost wallets with babypictures are more likely to be delivered back to their rightful owners. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, made an intresting experiment in Edinburgh were wallet were placed on the street.
Fully 88% of the wallets with the baby photo were returned. The next best rate was the puppy photo, at 53%. A family photo netted a 48% return rate, while an elderly couple picture scored only 28%.

All faces are eye magnets in a way. In a study using MEG scanning equipment, the researches found that all face images caused brain activity, but adult images lit up the back of the brain while baby pictures lit up an area in the front of the brain associated with emotions.

The Australian usability specialist James Breeze conducted a study to track eye movements when people were watching ads and concluded that all faces attracted attention but the real attention was given to the spot were the model was looking at. In one ad with a baby watching the headline, the eye first focused on the baby´s face and then ended on the headline, meaning that it is not only possible to attract attention with faces but also to control the eye movements of the beholder.o