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Why pictures in advertising are so effective and where to get them.

You have read it before, but it’s worth repeating: any piece of advertising only has a few seconds to grab a potential customer’s attention. There’s no doubting that your best chance is with a powerful and interesting picture which captivates your audience.

Why should I use pictures in advertising?

Pictures help potential buyers visualise the product or service being offered. Pictures capture attention better than a slogan or headline. Pictures tell a thousand words, and advertising space is limited and expensive! Use pictures to make the most of your advertising real estate.

What kind of pictures should I use?

We have established that pictures in advertising are more effective than slogans and headlines, but not just any old picture will do! Use interesting pictures that will grab the attention of passersby. Use relevant pictures. A picture of a lawnmower won’t help sell your hairdressing service! Stock photos are great, but there’s an art to picking the right pictures to use. Pick stock photos that:

  • look genuine, rather than unnatural or posed
  • are appropriate for your audience
  • aren’t outdated, e.g. a telecommunications company would use a smartphone, not a flip phone.

Where do I get pictures for use in ads?

There are many websites which sell stock photos and pictures which can be used in advertising. We’ve compiled a list of the top free and paid websites for stock imagery here.

Take care to read the relevant license agreements when using images from a stock photography website. Different licenses apply to different photos regardless of whether you have paid for them or not. For example, iStock’s “Standard License” allows for use in “advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, publications, video productions, podcasts and more” but some images are for “Editorial Use Only” and “can only be used for non-commercial, non-promotional projects.”

 

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