Magnetic Marketing: Using Faces to Command Attention
Our faces reveal multitudes about who we are, what we are thinking, and our intentions toward others.
Lying right under your nose is an awesome landscape of skin, muscles, and features. The face is one of the most profound parts of our body, and it packs so much power! Check out these remarkable facial facts:
- Humans are capable of making 10,000 unique facial expressions.
- The face has the biggest range of muscle structure in the human body, and 43 of these muscles are directly linked to facial emotions.
- Humans regularly flash micro-expressions that last less than 1/25 of a second before they consciously or subconsciously neutralize them. These split-second displays can reveal more than a thousand words (or lies!) ever could.
- Genuine facial expressions are almost always symmetrical. From frowns to smiles, people typically reveal authentic feelings evenly on both sides of the face.
Faces Add Impact in Marketing
How does this play into marketing and print?
First, it’s important to recognize the impact of faces so we can prioritize them in design. Research by Catherine Mondloch showed that newborn babies less than an hour old prefer looking at something with facial features. Humans prefer humans, and people buy from people!
It would be careless to overlook these statistics while continually deferring to inanimate objects. When you’re looking to add that personal touch to your marketing mix, remember faces can help you to:
Connect with People
Large, faceless corporations feel cold and manipulative.
To humanize your brand, feature people, not products! Pictures of real people build empathy and trust among viewers. And eye-tracking studies show that the faces of babies and pretty women are two of the most effective subjects you can use.
Putting faces on your brand allows you to connect with your audience in a relatable way. As you position faces in your ads, remember eyes looking right at people will have the greatest emotional impact because the eyes are the most significant part of the face.
Humans have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow these visual cues about where we should be looking or going.
Want to build curiosity and engage your viewers? If a face on your poster is gazing toward a text box or a product in the margin, readers will track toward that area as well.
Emotions can also be carried from a subject to the viewer as you set a tone within your design. The emotion in the faces you display can draw people to linger longer before your designs or to be drawn deeper into the message itself.
People react to a photo on a page faster than any other design element, and seeing the people behind a business can establish credibility very quickly.
You can use faces to cultivate trust by using staff profiles on a website, facial photos in welcome displays or high traffic areas, or brochures with testimonials and photos from real customers. If viewers can relate to the people enjoying your product, this will seamlessly build positive associations in their own minds.
When used properly, photos of faces can help you connect with people, create curiosity, and cultivate trust. Bypass resistance and build connections through the magnetic power of people!