Fake people
This photo is currently featured on the promotional materials for Constant Contact, the email newsletter provider I use for my client promotions.
I guess this is supposed to represent the typical reaction you will receive from a typical customer who has just received your e-newsletter.  Who is this chick and what is she doing? I notice these things. And I think about them. So this is what comes to mind.
  • Did this lady just win the lottery?  Or did she get goosed or something?
  • Why was she compelled to rise out of her chair and stare straight at me and laugh?  It’s unnerving.
  • There is a very small coffee cup behind her. Why is it so small?  Is it a demi-tasse?  Is it a cup for sake?  Is she caffeine-intolerant?  I just want to hug her and say, “Drink a nice BIG cup of coffee.  This is America, honey. Our cups hold a quart.  Here, have mine.”
  • It looks like she’s knitting.  But what is it?  She’s wrapped it around her neck somehow.  Lady, that could be dangerous.  Put down the sharp objects and slowly unwrap that that thing from around your neck.  And what is that on your breath?  SAKE?  We’ve notified the authorities.
Of course these questions are whimsical to make a point. Why use a photo that is just so STUPID?  Wouldn’t this ad be much better if it featured a REAL CUSTOMER?
Using stock photos is expeditious, safe and cheap.  It’s also probably a cop-out because you either have no marketing vision or you’re lazy.
I’m not necessarily recommending expensive professional photography, although there is a place for that.  Wouldn’t this be so much more effective and compelling if this were a snapshot of somebody in their workplace?   The technology is good enough today that any amateur photographer with a good eye and a basic knowledge of PhotoShop can produce respectable and acceptable shots.
YoutTube in particular has lowered people’s expectations of quality and raised the bar on authenticity.  Some of the most hilarious and popular videos are grainy home-made videos. And yet, most companies aren’t paying attention to this trend. Nearly every ad campaign or piece of promotional material I see uses air-brushed models, not people.
Among the biggest culprits of this technique are banks and insurance companies. They have fake smiley customers leaping through fields of flowers with their impossibly well-groomed children.  Where are the grass stains?   Where are the dirty lollipops? Where are the boogers?  OK, we don’t need boogers, but you get my point I think?
In an era where people put a premium on authenticity, let’s put a little more of it in our marketing materials.  What do you think?  Do you have examples of companies who are effectively using real customers in their ads?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...