Designing for mobile: Why do visually attractive ad units matter for mobile advertising?

The outlook for the development of the advertising industry in 2019 were rather on the conservative side. Now with 2020 starting, the predictions for the role of mobile in the digital advertising industry have never been any better. With 80% of the traffic coming from mobile devices, there are 35-40% of ad spendings going to the digital medium, states the news platform exchange4media.

While some brands start with their very first campaigns in a mobile environment, it becomes important to keep in mind, that designing for mobile requires designers to think mobile and design differently for mobile. Let’s take a look at why designing for mobile has its special challenges.

The brain reacts to beauty automatically, so creating a marketing campaign that is aesthetically pleasing your audience is a key to a good first impression.

Marketers have the ability to create a direct link to their audience and this process starts with the look and feel of the marketing assets. This is because your audience’s brain is responding positively to aesthetically pleasing stimulus. And yes, this includes email, print ads, web pages, social media messages, digital ads and more.

A science of creating visually appealing ads

It all starts when your audience is looking at your ad. At this point, your audience’s brain starts to quickly process visual content. In fact, the processing of visual information in our brains is so fast that actually the brain handles all visual stimuli before the mind will realize it.

When it comes to creating an aesthetic look, the visual power of your images is the key to creating a direct link. According to Anjan Chatterjee, a professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, “the brain automatically reacts to beauty”. In other words, beautiful images, no matter if printed or digital advertising, are crucial to create positive associations with your brand automatically.

Aesthetic appearance stimulates activities in various areas of the brain, including areas related to emotions, rewards and decision-making. It is important to note that the experience extends to a variety of sensory modalities and occurs regardless of whether a person is considering a picture, listening to music or admiring a perfectly constructed mathematical equation.

In a 2019 study, Chatterjee demonstrated how an aesthetic look can actually activate the motor parts of the brain to make people physically move towards attractive individuals. In the course of the study, a computer displayed the number at the bottom of the screen and two numbers at the top. Simple enough, right? But to see if attractiveness influences motor behavior, researchers have combined the upper numbers with persons, one of whom is attractive and the other unattractive. Unbelievable, but the researchers found that the mouse will drift to an attractive face, even if the number was wrong. In other words, the aesthetic response to the attractive face was so strong that it influenced the movement of the hands!

Beautiful images and emotional content drive leads

Given that your audience’s brain automatically reacts to beauty on a subconscious level, one of your goals as a marketer should be to facilitate a subconscious approach to behavior. In other words, engage your audience with your marketing creativity.

Why spend more on interactive ads if we can run static banners campaign?!

Investment Director

You probably heard this phrase before. Marketers often face an obstacle that the managers do not understand the importance of aesthetics in marketing. Have you been told that your audience does not care what your marketing announcement looks like? The problem is that your audience’s brain attracts aesthetically pleasing incentives, whether they know it or not.

Now you can make a scientific argument about why you should create beautiful marketing content.

Create visually appealing content

The most important conclusion is to understand that visually appealing content matters. As emotionally and rewarded brain areas become active when viewing aesthetically appealing content, it is important to create marketing assets that connect to brain areas that are linked to aesthetic appearance.

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