Did you know that the first few seconds that your ad appears on a page are the most critical? It turns out that that’s when the subconscious does all its work. The subconscious is the emotional driver that influences the powerful human need for safety and reward, and that reward is what we experience from making purchase decisions.
But how can you know if your ads are standing out to your audience in those critical early seconds?
New scanning technology developed by neuroscientist laboratoriespredicts with 80 to 90% accuracy if consumers are seeing core advertising and marketing messages in the first seconds. Graphic designers can combine art and science to connect messages with the subconscious mind (where 95% of buying decisions are made) in those early seconds. This proven science is the biological basis for how consumers make impulse decisions from survival instincts.
The science of what happens in the first seconds:
Our subconscious protects us from perceived threats while searching for resources critical to survival. Humans are biologically wired in the subconscious for safety, reward and social interaction with other humans to build long-term relationships and attachments, even with brands. This all happens in the blink of an eye. Therefore, messages that consistently and quickly communicate safety and reward will trigger vital instincts in the reward and pleasure center of the subconscious, which determines safety from advertising messages. This will mean that people will be drawn to your ads rather than repelled by them.
The biological visual system is object-oriented:
Because of its desire to avoid danger, the visual system is innately drawn to specific, perceivably harmful salient objects. These can be sharp points, edges, angles, bright color contrasts and contour shapes in any visual scene that will signal danger to the subconscious. But once the salient objects attract the attention of the subconscious, the messages surrounding the objects can send a message of safety and reward. Road traffic signs are a good example of salient objects that strongly attract the visual system. They signal danger to the subconscious, which then determines safety and reward from the signs’ messages. The scanning technology software, called visual saliency detection, models these survival instincts, highlighting the salient objects in a visual that the biological visual system will be attracted to first. Basically, it shows via heat map what your audience will see in those critical first seconds. In this example, the darker red mapping first detected the bright color contrast and contour shape on the green pail and the plant’s edges and angles emerging from the pail.
How perfect ads can be created with salient objects:
In this Miss Dior ad,scanning first detected in the darker red mapping what the consumer’s visual system would see first. This was the sharp font contrasted against the arm on the Dior D and the M on the Miss. It then detected the edges, angles, and color contrast on the pink flower, followed by the Dior brand and product.
The Miss Dior ad illustrates the effectiveness of visual saliency detection. Observing these results shows that the contrast could be a touch stronger on the name of the product, and the product itself almost doesn’t register at all. While the imagery that does register drastically supports the brand image and communicates safety, it will work better as a branding point rather than a direct response tool since the product itself is dulled.
How to use salient objects to increase your advertising and marketing visibility:
You can strategically integrate sharp points, edges, angles, color contrast, and contour shapes into your core messages with safety and reward. This will attract the visual system in the first seconds and trigger the reward and pleasure center of the subconscious. Scanning is effective on mobile, banner, print, and out-of-home ads, as well as websites, product packaging, in-store marketing, and even video (coming soon). It can also be applied to corporate internal marketing, brand communications, and PR.
Try it for free:
To learn more about how you can increase your ad visibility effectiveness in the first seconds, email firstname.lastname@example.org one ad image and you will receive one FREE scientific scan that predicts if consumers are seeing your core messages in the first critical seconds.
Joe Cirillo, CEO of Visual Ad Scan Technology™ Vast™, is a marketing entrepreneur and author. He co-founded Visual Ad Scan Technology™Vast™ after conducting research with an evolutionary psychologist and a neuroscientist on how human behavior developed from early human experiences. This research revealed how decision-making is biologically influenced from survival instincts in the subconscious that controls why we buy.