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Mature consumers prefer single-image advertisements over ads with multi-image collages by a margin of 66% to 34%, and also gravitate to images that show products and lifestyles,? according to a recent image-preference survey by Creating Results.


The “Photo Finish” study of more than 400 Americans age 40+ was conducted to determine which type of photography is most effective when advertising to Baby Boomers and older generations, as well as some members of Generation X. Survey respondents were shown a series of pictures and asked to respond to questions about which attributes they preferred.

Key findings about images in advertising:

  • Vibrant pictures featuring brighter colors and expressive models trumped subdued images with cooler colors and contemplative models, 65% to 35%.
  • 65% of respondents preferred images in which the model’s face was clearly identifiable vs. cropped photographs.
  • The older a consumer, the stronger his or her positive feelings for identifiable photos. 76% of those over age 75 preferred recognizable photos, as well as 75% of 65-74-year-olds and 62% of those ages 55-64.
  • Lifestyle photography was preferred to product photos by all respondents (59%) and was most effective with those designated by Creating Results as Caregivers (71%), Gardeners (78%) and Volunteers (75%).


  • While 56% of all respondents preferred product images over product-in-use images, men differed from the overall group. More than half (54%) chose product-in-use as more appealing.

“With more than 115 million Americans over 40, spending trillions of dollars on travel, healthcare, housing and more each year, mature consumers represent a great opportunity for lifestyle-related businesses,” said Todd Harff, president of Creating Results. “Understand
their preferences. Pick your pictures wisely, and you can help your product or service cut through advertising clutter and speed the purchase process.”

About the survey: The non-quota, intercept survey was conducted among 414 adults age 40+ in a variety of locations, including large conventions in urban settings, suburban neighborhoods, retirement communities, airports and other public venues. It was fielded from Sept. – Dec. 2008. Respondents were chosen at random and asked to complete a two-page survey. Additional demographic information is available in a free report from Creating Results.

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