Text Vs. Video: Why Humans Prefer Visual Media

Do you remember the saying – a picture tells a thousand words?

It remains true because most of us don’t want to read a thousand words. But we’ll happily look at a picture! We humans like to imagine that we’re intelligent and rational beings. We don’t respond to simple manipulation by stimuli.

The increased use of visual media and video advertising paints quite a different picture.

The psychology of advertising shows that we are much more susceptible than we think about the power of visual media to attract our attention and engage us.

Keep reading to find out more about the psychology of advertising and why we prefer video advertising!

1. It’s How Our Brains are Wired

Every child learns from an early age that humans have 5 senses (smell, taste, hear, touch, sight). But what we don’t teach kids is that the senses aren’t all of equal importance.

After all, our ability to see is the primary way you experience the world around us. According to the neuroscience, over 90 percent of information transmitted to our brains is visual.

2. Our Brains Love Color

Since the early days of advertising, marketers have chosen to use colorful images to grab our attention.

It doesn’t matter what kind of information we’re consuming, it’s always better when it’s in color. According to one study, technical documents, such as safety notices, that were designed with color were 82 percent more effective at grabbing attention and encouraging recall.

The human brain associates specific colors with good stuff and other with bad stuff. You have to ask yourself what kinds of colors have positive or negative associations?

Most people associate green with nature, while blue is often seen as reflecting freshness and health. This explains why so many companies use such colors for brand promotion.

3. Movement Attracts Attention

Our eyes contain two kinds of cells, known as rods and cones. Cones focus on light, color and other types of detail. Whereas, rods don’t see color but they only detect movement.

The rods cells are important because they can mean the difference between life and death sometimes. You never know when a saber-tooth tiger is going to be around the corner.

Video advertising is so effective because it grabs our attention in a way that static imagery and words don’t.

4. We See as Babies

When a newborn baby spends its first moments on earth, it’s overwhelmed by the sights (and sounds) around it.

Whether it’s the smile of a parent or the shake of a bottle, it quickly realizes what to ignore and what to pay attention to. By contrast, unless you have a little Einstein Baby, babies cannot read until they grow much older.

This means that while reading has to be learned over time. We instinctively know how to see the world and make sense of it.

5. We Recognize Faces

As previously suggested, looking at faces plays a key role in the life of human being. We even have a circuit “solely devoted” to faces called fusiform gyrus.

The same trait has been identified in our monkey cousins, who can also recognize each other’s faces.

Visual media that makes use of famous celebrities and our sports icons are playing right into our brains’ love of faces.

6. We Recall Visual Info

Even though our other senses are not as important as our vision. When the different senses work together in tandem, neuroscientists can detect wonderful results.

According to the author of the best-selling Brain Rules, John Medina, if we only hear information, we only remember 10 percent after a few days. But if you accompany the information with a picture, we’ll recall 65 percent of the information.

7. We Seek Simplicity

If you want to communicate a complex message, you need to communicate it with visuals.

Imagine how many words are required to explain certain road signs, political or religious symbols or brand logos.

Our brains enjoy the simplicity of visual advertising because they can quickly condense complex information into simple comprehension.

8. Use Emotion

As Forbes magazine puts it, ‘brand engagement‘ is emotional engagement. If you have to convey a story that connects with your customer base emotionally.

If there is a single thing that our brains are programmed for more than visuals, it’s emotion. By combining this understanding of emotional engagement with visual advertising, you’re onto a winner.

9. It Takes Seconds

The human brain spends all day long processing images. The brain can do this at a rate much quicker than it can read and understand a short text.

According to researchers at MIT, the brain needs 13 milliseconds to process entire images. Forget ‘in the blink of an eye’. That’s ten times faster.

You can connect with the viewer with your visual marketing campaign before you can say “psychology of advertising”.

10. Memory is Visual

If you think about what you had for breakfast this morning, you’ll probably immediately have a picture of your eggs and bacon, oatmeal or whatever you had. This is because our memory functions visually.

You can’t say the same for passages of your favorite novel or the document you need to read for work.

Human evolution has seen us constantly interacting with images and visuals around us. Whereas, words and texts are a relatively recent phenomenon and evolution hasn’t caught up.

Why Use Video Advertising?

In the world of advertising, nothing quite does it like video advertising to engage and maintain our attention. If you want to understand the psychology of advertising – it’s human beings want visuals!

It stimulates our mind and plays into our evolutionary make-up that’s grounded in thousands of thousands of years of human history.

That’s why it’s essential that you make use of video advertising to promote your brand’s products and services. Get in touch with us today for a free quote!

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