Sucking The Blood From “Product As Hero”

Kenneth Hein, writing for Brandweek offers us a new term for the advertising lexicon: Visual Vampire.

Wendy’s red wig-clad ads are hard to miss. However, new research shows that the characters in pony-tailed toupees greatly overshadow the products featured in the same ads.
“It is a visual vampire. There is high engagement, but when they show the food it drops like a rock,” said Lee Weinblatt, CEO of PreTesting, Tenafly, N.J.

When consumers are interested in something, their eyes vibrate faster. This is called saccadic eye movement. Special eye-movement recorders that have the ability to record not only where one looks, but the rate of saccadic motion and fixation as well.
The majority (68%) of viewers of the Wendy’s ad were riveted when the wig was on screen, but when hamburgers were shown it fell to 24%.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.