Since the early days of marketing it’s been a well known fact that babies sell stuff.
Not literally (except for businesses with questionable child-labor practices)
…but in the sense that images of babies (or even images of adults with baby like facial characteristics) tend to grab and hold people’s attention.
This is why images of babies have been used for decades to sell everything from car tires (i.e. Michelin) to bottled water (i.e. Evian) and to online stock trading platforms (Etrade) and everything in between.
They even did studies using a neuroimaging technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) which showed that in as little as 150 milliseconds after being shown a baby’s face there was activity in the brain medial orbitofrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with emotion). Images of adults did not have this effect.
To put this in non-geek-speak… it basically just showed that when people saw babies they got all emotional – and most importantly – this happened almost INSTANTLY and with no conscious recognition that it was occurring.
The babies were influencing them subconsciously. Automatically. And instantaneously.
Now, there are some pretty good reasons for why this
works happens including some theories on evolution and the fact that babies are vulnerable little things who’s chances of survival increase dramatically if they can tug on the heart strings of adults (not just their parents).
BUT… that’s not the point of this email.
Rather, the point here is to show you the automatic, unconscious, and psychological triggers that impact you, me, and your clients and customers every single day.
Showing a picture of a baby is just one of countless different triggers, stimulus, and psychological hot-buttons available to help you connect with someone to get your message across.
(Another fun example below then I’ll wrap this up)
In another study, neuromarketing scientists used eye-tracking technology and found that when the baby stared straight ahead (like in the previous example and image above), the focus of the viewer remained on the baby’s face.
BUT… when the baby was looking in a particular direction (like in the image of the baby below), the viewers focus was not only on the baby’s face – but also on the words, headline, or product where they baby was looking.
Which allows the marketer to not only capture attention through the use of the baby’s face, but then guide and direct that attention towards a relevant statement, headline, or offer.
So what’s the take away message here?
First, if there is a logical way to tie in baby’s faces it can’t hurt. Just make sure it’s relevant.
Next – and most importantly – the “baby face” marketing example I just gave you is just one of hundreds of different ways to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, content, and messages.
Like I said before, there are automatic, unconscious, and psychological triggers that impact you, me, and your clients and customers every single day.
And smart business owners and entrepreneurs take the time to learn them, understand them, and apply them in everything they do.
One option to learn them all is to spend 10 years studying marketing, psychology, and all kinds of other nerdy sciences and then find a way to adapt those to your business…
Adam “baby face marketer” Erhart