The Penultimate Word

How to Use Images to Reach Your Target Audience

Would you buy from this man? You might … if you were a guy.I recently saw this ad featuring hunky Matthew McConaughey in a magazine. With his intense gaze, open collar, and swaggering posture, one would think it was an ad in Cosmopolitan … maybe Glamour.  But it’s not. I saw this ad in Golf Digest and Esquire. 

Wonder what a sizzling hot photo of Matthew McConaughey is doing in men’s magazines? You may not have noticed, but people identify with images of people of the same sex. In other words, women look at ads with women and men look at ads with men. Kind of puts a whole different twist on the concept of “sex sells.” Women aren’t looking at this ad thinking, “Wow, if I buy that cologne, my husband will be hot like Matthew McConaughey.” No … quite the contrary. Men are looking at the ad thinking, “Wow, if I buy that cologne, I will BE Matthew McConaughey!”

Stay with me, guys. I know this seems like an attack on your masculinity, but it’s not. Really. Let me explain.

To get people to buy their products, advertisers know there needs to be a connection between the customers and the product. Therefore, advertisers sometimes try to create that connection with images of people. For example, if you’re targeting mothers of small children, then include an image that reflects that demographic. People are attracted to ads that reflect an image of themselves. It lets them know that you’ve got a product that they might need.

And, ladies, if you want to know what kind of images I found in Glamour … well, you guessed it. What do you suppose that says about us?

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