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Monday, March 25, 2013

Marketing Best Practices: Images

When it comes to selecting images for a brochure or website, picking a picture you personally like should have nothing to do with your selection process. The key thing to have in mind when selecting images for marketing is to choose an image that adds to your marketing message. You want to use pictures that describe your message better than words can.

Below are some other guidelines for selecting images for marketing materials:

General Guidelines for Marketing Images

·    Tell a story with the pictures in your brochure. Make sure that pictures are placed in a logical order so as not to confuse the reader.[i]

·    Use high impact photos with lots of color.[ii]

·    Appeal to emotion and use as many senses as possible. [iii]

·    Images with motion, novelty, error or ambiguity all capture attention. [iv]

·    Trends for 2013: macro photography and minimalism (clean lines and simple shapes). [v]

Guidelines for Selecting Images of People

·    Age matters - select images that show people of the same age as your target audience. [vi]

·    Women are attracted to images of women in groups, especially when shown enjoying a shared activity. [vii]

·    Real, relatable body types are the ones that sell. The boundaries of beauty are broadening, and it seems like authenticity is here to stay. [viii]

·    Select photos that show action. [ix]  Because active pictures convey vitality, avoid still, lifeless images. [x]
Guidelines for Marketing to Baby Boomers

·    Authenticity is key. Some of the images in ads are not very authentic — like that affluent couple you always see walking hand in hand on the beach, perfectly coiffed. And if the people in the ad look too young, the audience won’t relate to them.[xi]

·       Actively design ads to portray baby boomers in a positive, uplifting light.[xii]

·    According to a recent study by AARP, images showing exercise that looks like too much work turns off older adults. Use images that are both realistic and fun. Baby boomers are more likely to engage if they feel accurately represented. [xiii]

Trends in Financial Services Advertising

·    Consumers feel very real anxiety about financial issues. As a result, there is a palpable desire for authenticity, realism and visual storytelling. Consumers are looking for imagery that feels less “produced.” [xiv]

·    Use more pictures of women who are now frequently the primary moneymakers and decision makers in their households. Contemporary females are shown looking empowered, relaxed and balancing many roles. [xv]

·    Depictions of aspiration and conspicuous wealth have disappeared and been replaced with a new idea of “wealth.”  Images now communicate themes such as “living life with meaning” and “stopping to really appreciate the basics.” [xvi]

·    Financial imagery has become a lot less “buttoned-up” lately. The use of bold, artful images to illustrate classic concepts is unexpected, and it helps campaigns stand out from the fray. Color-soaked images of natural wonders, quirky pet snaps, atmospheric shots that would look equally at home on a gallery wall as on a banking website might seem like unusual choices, yet they help change the perception that talk about money has to be dull. [xvii]

[ii] “Marketing Materials Best Practices.” Penn State.
[iii] “Increasing our Brainpower: Using Neuroscience Effectively” Webinar. May 2011.
[iv] “Increasing our Brainpower: Using Neuroscience Effectively” Webinar. May 2011.
[vi] “Marketing Materials Best Practices.” Penn State.
[vii] “Increasing our Brainpower: Using Neuroscience Effectively” Webinar. May 2011.
[ix] “Marketing Materials Best Practices.” Penn State.
[xvi] “Image Trends In Financial Services Advertising.” Selling Stock.


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