It makes me laugh sometimes how perception plays such a big role in selling something. How are we supposed to be the superior race when we are fooled so easliy?
As an example look at the following screengrab of a local cinema website:
On this page they showcase their flash bigger cinema theatre with bigger screen and bigger sounds (and sneakily also a bigger price tag I’d imagine). Notice that the page itself is pretty uneventful really. So to spruce it up the web designer or developer has inserted a picture. When you look at that picture it shows you what you can only assume to be the actual cinema theatre. Googled the cinema and below a picture of the actual theatre they are trying to sell tickets for. Looks to be similar right? So no false advertising there.
But the picture looks pretty bland itself with just its seats and the screen. So what has the genius graphic designer done (assuming a graphic designer was involved)? He/ she pasted in two people who are obviously not just common folk but stunningly handsome specimens of our species whose pictures can more than likely be obtained via the internet.
The result? The page has been spruced up conciderably and now is easy to look at, perhaps even interesting to look at. You might even consider buying tickets to go there.
This wouldn’t be the case if the page just had the boring bits on it now would you?
So sprucing up a webpage or product with images, even images that we consiously know are nothing related to the real thing, makes us relate to it better and perhaps even think about purchasing the product that is being offered.
A while ago I found a following picture somewhere that explains this so perfectly.
Would you buy the left hand or right hand sausage, while knowing full well that both sausages will actually be the same!?
You are not buying the sausage. You are buying the sizzle.. The perception that you have of a particular product!