I was just reading a WSJ article this morning about how Zappos produced a slew of videos in 2010 featuring its own employees talking about its products.  Interestingly, they found that sales increased 10% for products that had a video in the product description.  They could have used models, but our brains seem to be immune to the overuse of models in advertising.  They don’t help us imagine ourselves in that scenario.  But seeing a real person use the product gets us inspired.

Graphic designers have long known that people’s faces will draw they eye’s attention.  Ever notice those really annoying ads that pop up on certain websites with a either really attractive or really ugly close-up of a face?  Then the ad copy below it has nothing to do with the face?  They do that because your eye is drawn toward the face of a real person.  You otherwise would never read the ad about grant money to go back to school or the latest weight loss phenomenon.  But notice again that the faces are not models – they are real people.

The lesson here?  Use real people in your marketing.  Put real people’s pictures (your own employees) on your website.  Feature your employees or better yet, your clients, in videos.  Make your company approachable and real – don’t hide behind the stock photography and models.