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The Visual Depiction Effect And Digital Marketing
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Visual Depiction Effect describes the way in which people are more inclined to buy a product when it is shown in a way which helps them to visualise themselves using it. It can be effective to display a product being used by someone, without its packaging, or accompanied by a utensil or tool that we might use in real life when using the product in question (such as showing a spoon with a yoghurt), etc. Advertising a product using these tactics helps to reduce the mental effort required on the part of your customer in order to connect with the product and imagine it as part of their lives.

How Is The Visual Depiction Effect Used in Marketing?

Advertising a product using this tactic makes it easier for a customer to connect with the product and imagine it as part of their lives. It is therefore, very useful to consider when coming up with sales and marketing strategies, and is particularly vital for digital marketing, where imagery plays an essential role as customers are unable to actually see the physical product.

Examples of How To Use The Visual Depiction Effect

There are a couple of simple ways to apply this tactic and it is used to great effect by some of the biggest E-commerce brands on the planet including ASOS and Nike.

  1. Use Product Pictures With Context Show your products in the ideal situation in which they would be used. If your customer can visualise themselves using your product then they’ll feel more inclined to buy it.
  2. Include Several People Or Products In Your Images Try to include more than one individual or product in your visual marketing materials. By adding more variety you can reduce the mental effort different visitors would need to imagine themselves using your products.


Visual depictions can greatly enhance browsers ability to engage with your product, and ultimately become buyers. With a few small changes to your digital marketing, you can significantly improve the speed, value and frequency of conversions.

Matt’s bonus tip:
Want To Harness The Visual Depiction Effect?

Read more about this technique in our suggested visual depiction tactics and if you want to try them out, our AB Testing feature can help!


by Matt Green

Matt is Head of B2B Marketing at Convertize. He's an end-to-end marketer covering everything from data through to design, at both major corporates and startups. He started off in demographic research, moving into marketing to use both hemispheres rather than just the one.