Book Review: About Face

I like learning about how emotions tie in to marketing and advertising. It’s interesting stuff. So I was eager to read Dan Hill’s book, About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising. In it, the author talks about how voice and facial expressions can have vastly different results when it comes to advertising.

I don’t “do” tv commercials or mainstream advertising, so I skipped through some of the book as it wasn’t pertinent to me, but most of the psychology stuff applies to anyone doing marketing.

No matter the platform, it’s all about engagement, says Hill: “…without engagement, there’s no sustained interest, little opportunity for retention and almost certainly no opportunity for consideration or persuasion.”

And it’s true. How many commercials or ads have you glazed over, unable to even remember what they were selling? They weren’t engaging.

Faces, studies show, get better results in advertising. We relate to other humans, and so seeing them in familiar situations helps us relate to those situations. But it’s important those faces, those humans, relay a message that makes us happy, not frustrated or sad. In that case, we don’t buy.

It Works

Think of commercials that are etched in your brain. Billy Mays, advertising Oxy Clean. Coca Cola’s “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” Any GEICO commercial, be it geckos, cavemen, or that pile of cash that you could be saving. They all have something in common.

Some takeaway tips from the book:

  • Place your visual on the left of a still image and copy on the right side. It’s been proven to create a stronger emotional response.
  • Make your content easily scannable and appealing.
  • Navigation should be intuitive. Don’t make your audience hunt for things.
  • Create cohesion across all marketing/advertising.
  • Never put your logo in the corner of death (bottom right of page or screen)

This book is an interesting look at the psychology behind how advertising works. It’s dense, though. It’s not a how-to, but if you read it you will find takeaways you can apply to your marketing and advertising efforts, be they online, in print or on television.

About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing copy, blog and article writing. She is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and also writes on Small Business Trends, Growth University and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing. Susan Payton on Google+!