Aligning Images With Message

This new study says that just holding an alcoholic beverage makes you seems stupid.  While I would agree that if your Facebook picture or blog picture was you with an alcholic beverage, I might think twice, but I’m not sure I would have the same impression of a person at a reception with a glass of wine.

But, it made me think about how important it is to think about images as aligning with messaging and branding.  This is important in direct mail and e-mail and on the Internet.  Being in the communication business, we often bring in mis-aligned marketing pieces to share with each other.  (Maybe there needs to be a bad marketing blog like the bad pitch blog.)  I remember one from a few months ago which was a happy birthday postcard to someone on turning 40 and encouraging them to take some action.  The image on the postcard was of a 70+ year old woman.  It really made the woman turning 40 feel like it was older than it is.

In another case, I think about when I was an architect.  We were designing a boardroom for a big Fortune 100 company.  When we were creating a rendering for presentation, I was told that the CEO didn’t like to see women in the pictures (probably wouldn’t happen these days) so we could only add images of men in business suits to the pictures.

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