[Cambridge, MA] A study out of MIT has upended the world of advertising, with ramifications that could devastate the industry. The study analyzed thousands of popular web articles, with the goal of formulating a set of general principles to assist publishers and graphic designers in selecting visuals to go with their online content.
“We did uncover one principle – always go with a 1970s era photograph of Lynda Carter.”
The concise finding surprised the researchers, but test after test confirmed the result – clicks were always highest with the Wonder Woman star as the lead visual. Furthermore, they found this to be universally true, no matter what the article was about. This contradicted previous advice that you should match the visual to the subject matter of the text.
“No – you must never match the visual to the article’s content – unless the article happens to be about Lynda Carter, in which case you absolutely must match the visual to the content.”
The finding is bad news for those in the visual arts and advertising departments who are now effectively redundant, though those who hold copyright over images of Lynda Carter are in for a big payday as major corporations adopt her as the face of everything.
UPDATE: When challenged by other academics in the field, the researchers conceded that their discovery is not as universally true as they first stated.
“We were overzealous in our initial claim that only a 1970s picture of Lynda Carter can sell web content. A 1980s or more contemporary picture of Lynda Carter also works quite well.”
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