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    The Science of Distraction: Why Your Audience May Be Missing Your Message

    Remember the famous airport scene from the movie “Catch Me If You Can?” Legendary con man Frank Abagnale, Jr. successfully impersonates a PanAm pilot by surrounding himself with a bevy of beautiful would-be flight attendants.

    Incredibly, the master distracter strolls past dozens of police officers and G-Men actively searching for him. In real life, Abagnale executed this trick by hiding in plain sight as his pursuers focused on the lovely ladies and overlooked the criminal they were hunting.

    Intrigued by similar real-life accounts of mass distraction, neuroscientists Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde launched a thought-provoking study that confirmed what they’d already suspected — that viewers can be so distracted by faces that they miss what’s happening right in front of them. We found these results especially relevant in light of our previous blog post about onscreen talent and the way it can distract viewers when used in instructional videos.

    Shut Your Face

    When Macknik and Martinez-Conde began to explore the distraction phenomenon by studying magicians in Las Vegas, they were particularly interested in understanding how we can be so easily deceived by simple magic tricks— even though we know that magicians are out to trick us. It turns out all the magician has to do is divert our focus a bit.

    So what’s one of the most effective tools in the magician’s bag of tricks?

    His face.

    [Read more…]

    Study Reveals What Customers Really Think About Online Product Images

    You have a wonderful online product catalog, and your website runs like a dream. Simple to search, easy to navigate—what’s not to love? But you still see room for improvement, both in sales and conversion rates. So what’s next?

    Based on the results of a National Retail Federation study, your product images could be holding you back, playing an even greater role than any of us ever realized. When presented with a list of 26 different site elements, survey participants listed image quality as one of the most important factors influencing their buying decisions, ranking it #4 overall —more important than product guides, short descriptions, long descriptions, and even product reviews.

    An impressive 94% said the quality of the image was “very to somewhat important” to selecting and ultimately buying products. When women’s responses were singled out, that number climbed even higher – with 96% indicating its importance.

    When visiting a merchant’s product page, how important is the following image related information to selecting and ultimately purchasing a product?
    VERY TO SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT TOTAL WOMEN MEN
    Quality of the image 94% 96% 92%
    Alternative views 88% 91% 83%
    Zoom 85% 86% 81%
    Item specific image (i.e. pillow vs. entire bedroom
    or shirt vs. complete outfit)
    77% 79% 74%
    Color change 65% 72% 51%
    View on a model 61% 65% 55%
    View in a room 50% 52% 44%

    [Read more…]

    3 Reasons Onscreen Talent is a Bad Idea in Product Demos

    For traditional advertising and marketing, choosing to use onscreen talent or a spokesperson may indeed be spot on. After all, consumers can relate to them, warm up to them and feel motivated to go buy a product simply because of the personality and trust they can evoke.

    But, when it comes to helping customers with complex installation, instructions or in-depth product details, onscreen talent may actually hurt matters.

    Before booking talent for your product videos consider this…

    Myth #1: The best way to demonstrate complex product details is to use onscreen talent or spokespeople.

    Truth: In instructional videos – such as product demos or “how to” tutorials – the use of talent can actually confuse or even frustrate the viewer.

    Why? On any media platform, your talent’s physical presence can block important product details from your consumer’s line of sight.

    [Read more…]

    Will Printed Instructions Slow Down Your Product’s Success?

    As a savvy product manager, chances are you run a tight ship when it comes to new product launches.

    Your company’s strategists carefully research the concept’s viability. Your engineers translate it into an appealing prototype. Production delivers on time and on budget. The marketing campaign rolls out as planned, just prior to launch.

    Under your watchful eye, the entire product development team pulls together and meets all launch targets. Voila! Success!

    Sales begin to grow. Momentum is building. You’re a Product Management rock star.

    Then suddenly, reports start trickling in about increasing rates of returns and consumer complaints.

    Yikes. What went wrong?

    With any product launch, potential risks always exist.

    Almost 75% of newly-launched consumer goods and retail products fail. – Harvard Business Review Tweet It!

    Sometimes, an obvious culprit is the one most often overlooked: customers just don’t understand how to install or use your product. You included a manual, you say? Guess what? That may no longer be enough.

    [Read more…]