In 1921, an advertising manager named Fred R. Barnard famously wrote: “One picture is worth ten thousand words.” The phrase struck a chord with the public and it has remained part of our lexicon ever since.
The power of images in advertising and marketing is no less critical today as it was in 1921, when Barnard penned those immortal words. It could be argued that images are more important today, because of the countless platforms available for companies to tell their stories and promote their brands.
Although text is important in communicating messages, it has been proven that visual images speak louder than words. Research has shown that the brain is hardwired to recognize and make sense of visual images, and that images are more effective in terms of aiding long-term memory, improving comprehension, and triggering emotions.
For more than five decades, Geron Associates Ltd. has understood the subtle relationship between visual images and their impact on consumers. Geron works with images in all aspects of its business, from designing original concepts to the manufacturing of custom displays, exhibits and showrooms.
At a trade show or in a retail atmosphere, a company has only a few seconds to make a positive first impression, and during those precious seconds a prospect will decide whether or not to pay you a visit. With each new project, a major part of Geron’s creative process is deciding which images will work best in communicating a company’s core message.
Images help to attract attention, but they also articulate a company’s essence – that intrinsic spark that says who you are and what you promise. In this sense, visual images are closely tied to branding (we’ll address the topic of branding in a future article).
The importance of visual images in the digital age has not been lost on marketers. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are designed to highlight and display images to millions of people every day. Companies use these powerful, image-based platforms to communicate their messages to the world.
If Fred Barnard were alive in the digital age today, he might be inspired to revise his famous quote to: “One picture is worth ten thousand views.”