The image above is in a rotating banner along the front page of National Geographic today.
To think that little dino babies could have nursed on mama dino’s little teats! I’m a sucker for ancient reptiles, and am myself mom to a creature of prehistoric persuasion. So I wanted to know, were dinosaurs and mammals not so different after all?
Spoiler alert: NatGeo’s article goes on to pretty convincingly debunk this newly proposed lizard lactation theory. Now instead of a lesson on dinosaurs, NatGeo taught me something about persuasion and images. After seeing that image and the overlaid text suggesting a radical discovery, I was primed to believe — practically persuaded already!
As you may have guessed, there’s science behind this phenomenon.
The reptile connection in Deaf Turtles, Persuasive Pictures is a total coincidence, I swear! What you should pay attention to is neuroscience marketer Roger Dooley’s observations about how photos give statements credibility:
- In one study, images didn’t even have to be relevant to the statements being made in order to have this effect.
- Add to this, text along with an image magnifies this effect even more.
- Use images carefully and thoughtfully. A powerful image can draw attention — and that can be good or bad.
Mind-hack marketers can take advantage of this psychological disposition. Pictures really are worth a thousand words, and even more so when words accompany pictures. Kinda explains a lot about Internet memes, doesn’t it?