In ads, should models look directly at the viewer, the way a speaker would, or should they look away? According to research from a University of Houston marketing professor, it depends on the ad’s purpose.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Her research, to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that an averted gaze is much more powerful when an ad aims to convey how people might feel using a product, while a direct gaze is more powerful in ads that seek to inform, or convey a product’s more functional features.
In an experiment using Facebook ads for sunhats (a product sold more on how its users might feel than functional features), those ads with models looking away had click-through rates that were 4% higher and purchase rates that were 30% higher.