The human brain, from infancy, is hardwired to pay attention to faces. It’s why a baby will stare at its mother’s face while breastfeeding. It’s why we imagine we see faces in clouds and mountains and grilled cheese sandwiches.

It’s also why you should consider putting a photo of a person in your advertising. Whether it’s of you, a staffer, or a model, a photo of a face grabs the reader’s attention. They want to know who it is. They want to know more about this person. So they’re more likely to pay attention to your message.

And if you use a picture of yourself or someone on staff, that has the added advantage that you build on their personal brand  – friends and family will say “Hey, I know that person.” They’re interacting with your ad, and that’s very good. This is particularly beneficial in a small community where we know so many of our neighbours.

Another advantage to using a photo of your or someone on your staff is that people will come to feel they know you. As marketing guru Jeffrey Gitomer likes to say “All things being equal, people prefer to do business with their friends. All things being not so equal, people still prefer to do business with their friends.” If someone sees your photo in an ad, then recognizes you when they walk into your store, you’ve got a head start on your way to being a friend.

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