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  • Writer's pictureIvaylo Yorgov

CX Science: for maximum impact, the model in your ads would gaze towards the product


  • Consumers pay more attention, evaluate the brand higher, and are more willing to purchase a product when: a. there is a person in the ad and b. the person in the ad is looking towards the product

Now what:

  • Keep this in mind when you design your next print advertisement.


Human faces are one object in the world that receives the most attention from us. We orient ourselves towards faces from a very early age, and it is perhaps not surprising that we tend to see faces everywhere - in clouds, trees, cars, and others. It is just a fundamental human feature that we pay attention to faces, and especially to the eyes/the gaze.

While intuitively marketeers seem to know this given the prevalence of people within ads, there are very few studies that pinpoint the effect of faces on attention to ads or ad recall. Even less examined is the question of where should models in the ads look towards.


Safaa Adil, Sophie Lacoste-Badie, and Olivier Droulers set off to investigate these very questions. In their lab, they conducted an eye-tracking study with almost 80 participants and tested 15 different versions of ads: some showing only the product, some with the product and a model looking towards the viewer, and some with the product and a model looking towards the product.

Ads showing only the product score lower on virtually all dimensions, so we'll leave them aside.

Importantly. across all metrics Adil, Lacoste-Badie, and Droulers tracked, the ads with a model facing towards the product performed better.

Here's the full list of improvements in your ads you can expect by having a model gazing towards the product (as opposed to gazing towards the viewer):

  • Higher recall of the product category

  • Higher brand recall and higher brand recognition

  • Better attitude towards the brand

  • Higher purchase intention

Yes, all of that by the simple act of having the model in the ad looking towards the product, and not towards the viewer. It directs and holds consumer's attention, and increases the odds that they will buy it.

Isn't it amazing how much can we achieve when we manage the building blocks / assets at our disposal well?


My best wishes for a great day ahead!

CX Inspirations - card 25
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