Seeing is believing

27. April 2020
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Even though this page contains a lot of words, the images are the ones that you will remember afterwards. We are visual animals, so what we see, is what we read.


80% of what people remember is visual

Despite this knowledge, most marketers tend to spend much more time on the copywriting than on the image selection, which is one of the greatest paradoxes in the age of digital marketing. Images do not only tell a story or put us in a certain mood, but also play with our mind.

Let me start by showing you this small optical illusion and ask you, what you see on the image …

Some of you will have noticed two fish swimming, where others will instead have seen fish, with the fish being the eyes on the face. What did you see?

No matter if you saw the fish or the face, I’m 100% sure that you will remember this example many days and weeks from now. It’s the power of visuals.

70% of all receptors in the brain are visual

When I discussed the power of visuals with one of my friends recently, she came up with the expression “What you see, is what you read”. Like me she works with digital marketing, and she has experienced again and again that choosing a certain photo to begin a blogpost, a newsletter or even a website creates a mood right away.

Without having read anything, the person checking out your content, has already been put in a certain state of mind, because we respond emotionally to experiences, and our emotions are controlled by visual input to a much greater extent than written input. Actually 70% of the receptors in the brain are visual!

Sorry for playing another trick on your brain, but the image you just experienced does not move at all. It is not a gif, but a simple jpg – it is your mind doing the movement, and if you do not believe me, try to download the image and see for yourself.

Visuals are processed 600.000 times faster than text

So when images can make our brain believe things that are not real, it’s not difficult to imagine, why they are also a very powerful part of your marketing, communication and storytelling. Or at least they should be, if you remember to really use them and focus on them.

Before moving on to discussing how this can be translated from optical illusions into everyday marketing, let me just share another fascinating example with you …

This time it IS in fact a .gif, but it’s not about the file format this time. Instead – please have a look at the two cars and tell me:

Do they change their speed during the 10 second long animation or not_

Most people are convinced that the cars move faster at the end of the clip, but in fact they don’t. They drive at the exact same speed all the time, but the background changing at the end confuses our mind and makes us think something different.

And oh yeah by the way – CARS? No, it’s not cars. It’s just some pixels moving from one side of your screen to the other 😉

Visual content is shared 40% more often

Recent studies tell us that visual content is shared 40% more often online than context with just text. Below is one of many visuals that have gone viral on the internet, and it really shows the power of marketing, when the ideas from the examples above (optical illusions) are turned into real-life advertising – in this case on a big billboard …

Obviously there is no real car on this billboard, but it is created in a way, where our brain perceives that there is in fact a real size car up there, and immediately our brain is fascinated by it. 

Another example of creative visual marketing using optical illusions …


The average person only reads 20% on a regular webpage

Now these are fascinating examples with optical illusions used in marketing, but most marketers do not have the time or money to create such ambitious campaign. Luckily this is not at all necessary, since all you actually have to do is start inserting more photos and videos into your online content to increase your impact and conversion rates.

It is crucial that these photos and other visuals are authentic, and that is why we created JumpStory to provide you with more than 25.000.000 visuals to fit this purpose. Please check it out if you are not already a JumpStory users.

To finish off with here are a couple of images more to challenge your brain, and how it perceives things …

What do you see – the face of a man or the body of a woman …

Sorry brain but it is not moving …