Nothing is worse than a confusing message.
In tested advertising methods by John C. Caples you can see the example of how just by changing the picture of an advertisement it can have a negative effect on total response.
The reason is quite simple, one of the cognitive biases is to make assumptions on things. That means we use past experiences to save time in the present. If we didn’t do this we would have to spend hours and hours learning the same lessons over and over again. This cognitive bias is designed to help us save time.
Therefore when showing you business off in any sort of advertisement it should be directly relevant to what need or want your target audience is after. Tested results have come back in time and time again if you are showing an unrelated picture on an advertisement then you will decrease your conversion rate dramatically.
Just check out the picture below.
From just looking at the picture and headline the majority of people would belive that this is an advertisement about yachts. Only when someone has read the whole advert would the ‘prospect’ understand that this is really about investment management. Only most people who are intrested in having a profolio managed would have turn away at the first sight unless they were also intrested in yachts.
In this modern age when there is a million and one distractions it pays to be simple and direct.
Just check out the following advert below which has been tested more times than a student during exam time:
The headline and picture (headshots convert well) speaks direct to the broadcast audience.
You will probably now start seeing this around. It has been working well for Fisher investments for the last year appearing regularly on Forbes etc.
The bottom lesson to learn from this is don’t try to be cleaver with indirect advertising.
By creating a powerful message out of showing directly what you offer your advertising is going to have much more of an impact on the people who you are trying to make raise their hand.