Why are images more effective than words when it comes to marketing?

by 14 comments
That's just one of the questions on the Neuromarketing Quiz over at Discovery.com:

What do advertisers know about your brain? Take the Neuromarketing quiz! : Discovery Channel

Is this quiz full of crap, lies, and baloney? Only you can decide. You'll discover things like:

  • What is the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET)?
  • Which of the following companies is famous for using ZMET in its marketing?
  • How do neuromarketers know best whether their techniques are working?
  • Why are images more effective than words when it comes to marketing?
  • In how many seconds do people decide to continue watching a TV ad--1, 5, or 10 seconds?
  • What percentage of any message or communication (including advertising) is based on visual cues?
  • What did Microsoft find out about the Xbox from neuromarketing studies?

Have fun out there, brain explorers!
#copywriting #effective #images #marketing #words
  • Profile picture of the author Caleb D Miller
    I think images are more effective than words because I believe that the brain works in images and not sentences. Tony Buzan says that a lot.

    The brain makes scenes and movies out of images by making associations and connections from the sensory inputs that it takes in.

    I like mindmapping in the Tony Buzan way because you take one word and you branch off from there with different colors, keeping it at one word because it's easy to associate from there.

    Images are easy to associate and connect to other images. Sentences and groups of words are abstract and are not so easy to associate and connect to other things.
  • Profile picture of the author maximus242
    This is a really old argument. Rosser Reeves addressed it about 50 years ago when he said...

    Men have died for words, countries have been conquered from words, empires have been toppled with words, fortunes have been built with words.

    This argument was beaten to death way back in the days of Claude Hopkins, its just one of those questions that never die
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    When you remember back last year, the sun on the beach, the smells of the sea and the sounds of the seabirds ... it feels like you're alive there. Yes?

    Well you should.

    Because thinking is about experiencing. You want something to happen, you don't write it down, organize an equation to figure out how likely it is to happen. No. You daydream about that shiny black Porsche. You sit back in the leather seat that draws you back yet supports you, the wheel is just where it should be. Your back pressed against the seat as it accelerates onto the Autobahn, your blood pumping to the roar of the engine behind you. The headlights beam into the distant darkness as the blue sign for Munich passes overhead. 250km, that's one hour.

    Yup, I've driven Porsches on the Autobahn. Okay, so it was Bart's and he was tired, right?

    When you think there is little difference between that and the systems you use for dreaming, remembering or just about anything else in your conscious life.

    Words, images are only a means to describe all that. As to the subconscious, don't start me. I have a bee in my bonnet about all that ...
  • Profile picture of the author CharismaticMannequin
    The way I see it, words are just used to create images in the mind. That's why stories are such an effective copy technique. You get the prospect to start playing a mental movie in his/her head, and it engages them MUCH more than general boring text.

    I wouldn't be surprised if images are indeed more effective than words - words are just another medium to create images. It's how you use them that matters!
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Educational quiz. I did it and got 13. I was doing great
    until the last 8 or so.

    If you think about words versus images, ask yourself
    if you would rather be blind or deaf? Words really
    create images so images are still worth a thousand

    Talking of great writers, we say that they can paint
    a picture with words. And metaphors are really word
    pictures. So the goal has always been a picture,
    an image.

    When Jesus taught about the lily of the field, the
    good Shepherd, salt, light, a farmer sowing seeds,
    fishing, wheat and tares etc., He was making use
    of the pictures that were right in front of His listeners.

    “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables;
    he did not say anything to them without using a parable.”
    (Matthew 13:34)

    Can't supersede that.

    -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    You do not have to go into those brain boys stuff.

    Pictures work because they convey a complete message and often even a complete story.

    In order to describe 1 picture you could use 1,000 words and might not get close to describing it.

    One glance and you get "the picture".

    Just words:
    20 minutes later and you might not get "the picture" from a story.
  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Images are not more effective at marketing than words. The quiz's own reasoning was:

    "A single image can transmit a number of emotions if used correctly. Images also can reach people of different ages and cultural backgrounds, because some pictures can mean different things to different groups. Words, on the other hand, would have to be modified for each group."

    Okay. Let's say I show a picture of a police officer to two different people. One person is married to an officer and had their life saved when they called 911 after a murderer broke into their home. The other has been arrested multiple times and treated derisively by officers after committing minor crimes such as speeding, failing to pay rent on time, etc.

    Yes, the image of the officer is going to "transmit a number of emotions" to both individuals. But only one of them is going to react favorably. The "meaning different things to different people" fact is not a picture's greatest benefit, but it's greatest downfall. Words express the exact thing you want them to express.

    The quiz also states:

    "Until more research is done on the subject, it's difficult to say with certainty just how well neuromarketing works."

    No joke. You aren't going to sell squat without words to tell people what to do, how a product can improve their lives, how much it costs, why it's better than the competition and much more.

    Maximus said it best when he quoted R Reeves: "Men have died for words, countries have been conquered from words, empires have been toppled with words, fortunes have been built with words."

    Has an image ever done that? I'm not saying pictures can't increase sales, help provide proof components, attract people to a product because of its looks, etc... they're just nowhere near as effective as copy.
  • Profile picture of the author infoway
    Good images also have a unique ability to stick in people’s minds long after they see them.

    In today s market , it becomes a challenge on how you can effectively communicate to the people with your contents. And making one’s content eye-catching and easy to understand is not an easy task.
    For eg: Infographics
    here play a vital role in doing so. It is nothing but are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. It is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with complex data and generate huge traffic .

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