Why Visuals Matter More Than You Know.

Jonathan Butts
President and Executive Creative Director

Every marcom pro will tell you that visuals matter — especially snooty art directors who claim no one really reads copy (more on this later). But science backs up the importance of visual communication with some gobsmacking research.

Images are stored in long-term memory

For instance, did you know the human brain can process entire images seen by the human eyeball for as little as 13 milliseconds?1 And 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual.2 In a world filled with an unending barrage of competition for our attention, seconds count. Also, images are stored in long-term memory.3

If you want your brand awareness and marketing efforts to stick, communication visuals that perform the heavy lifting for you are a must.

Pedagogy experts say that 65% of us are visual learners.4 What’s more, when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of it three days later. Combine that same info with a relevant image, and memory retention ratchets up to 65%.5

Blah blah blah

Direct Response Should Be Visually Direct.

Now let’s talk about marketing that moves people to act. Research nerds have proven that people following basic directions that include text paired with an illustration do 323% better than those following text instructions alone.6

Text-Heavy Presentations Are the Devil.

Based on all of the aforementioned stats, it goes without saying that people have got to stop jamming PowerPoint slides full of text. You know everyone is just reading ahead and not really listening to you when you do that, right?

I won't remember a thing from your presentation.

Words Matter, Too.

Now that we’ve blathered on about the importance of visuals, allow us to take a beat and explain the critical role that great ad copy plays — when properly applied, that is.

It’s true, there are plenty of legendary examples of long-form copy with barely a smidge of visual support to which one could point. But for the most part, the real magic in communications happens when the right words are fused with powerful visuals to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Take the classic Volkswagen “Think Small,” Nike “Just Do It,” and Apple “Think Different,” campaigns, for example.

Make Noise. Get Noticed.

Need Help Elevating Your Brand Visual Communications?

If your brand could use eyeball-snaring communications paired with pithy copy that gets results, may we humbly suggest that you review our portfolio page? If you like what you see, give us a jingle, send us a message, or text us a pic.

SOURCES: Before you get on your soapbox, allow us to admit that in marketing we subscribe to the Arthur James Balfour philosophy that “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Yeah, you’ve gotta take this stuff with a grain of salt, but looking at the totality of research on visual communication should lead you to the same place.

1 MIT News
2 3M
5 Brain Rules
6 Springer Link