Think Like a Marketer

What is the idea? What do you want to say? What is being sold? What idea is screaming to be out there? How do you get their attention? These are the questions that marketers ask when they create advertising for their clients. Pretend you're Don Draper. Think like a swanky Creative Director, of a company who gets the big jobs. He and his team would eat, drink (lots of drinking, I know) and sleep advertising ideas. We are exposed to over 300 ads per day but only less than ten will engage us. By keeping up to date on economics, science, health, politics, art, weather trends and cultural awareness, you can produce content that’s relevant to advertisers. Being a stock contributor isn't just beautiful photos or illustrations, it's knowing what to produce, after all, time is money, so don't waste your time producing imagery that doesn't sell. Here are some eye-catching ideas.

Pop Those Colors or Patterns Our eyes are drawn to vivid and bright colors, naturally, so using colors that pop off the page is the idea. Color is exciting. It grabs our attention and provokes our emotions. Our eyes are literally sensitive to various hues, shades and tones that stimulate our imaginations and alter our moods. An advertisement with colorful information is likely to affect our decision making process. Do some research. Know that different age groups have different color preferences. Younger people prefer bright and vivid colors whereas older people feel comfort when surrounded by subdued shades. Hot, cool, light, dark, warm, vivid, and pastel colors have an impact on the viewer and their potential for buying into your imagery.

Trick Their Minds Optical illusion images can attract the attention of almost any viewer. Create imagery for ads that produce visual trickery to hold the viewer's attention. Make your viewer look twice and hold their attention with this twist on perspective. Think conceptually - the whole image, versus independent parts, intrigues the mind and creates a memorable viewing experience.

Concepts Blending two or more images to create an idea or concept is genius. A simple image of an ear with manipulation of the skin to form a face whispering voices into the ear exhibits the idea of someone hearing voices. Or this image of a man with his skull cap popped open and alcohol sitting inside. Clearly, he has alcohol on his mind. With the skills of Photoshop or Illustrator you can produce abstract or concrete ideas by blending multiple images together.

Evoke Taste or Thirst Mouth watering imagery is self-stated. Steam, color, juiciness, crunch, all add to our sensory interpretations. This image of bread loaves on red linen can stimulate hunger, warmth, taste, or feelings of home. Advertisers look for professional, emotive images of food, because, we all like to feel comfort and satisfaction, right?

Minimalism Sometimes less is more. Less text, no image, only one color, just symbols, these all have an impact on the viewer, especially if the viewer is expected to see the ad for a second, as in a billboard on the freeway. Bright and clean advertising goes hand in hand with minimalism.

Extremism By including strong and shocking elements such as this one, it makes it easy to attract and hold the attention of a younger viewer, for example. Cool, alternative and edgy images evoke one of our emotional responses of fear and alertness. Advertisers know this and will search these out.

Transformation Transform a recognizable icon into the stylized item, place or concept. These icons represent business and working people. Further alter commonly known icons to represent a new idea.

Everyday Impacts No one likes to think about eating trash. Simple imagery with everyday items can have a thought evoking impact. One idea is to create food items out of trash materials. Your craftiness will pay off.

As Don Draper said in a Mad Men episode, “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.” Now go and produce those selling images!

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