How models affect performance in different messages

January 29, 2023

Creating high-performing ads has always been a fine art. 

After all, it can be tough to predict which type of designs work and which will fall flat on their faces. 

Factors such as the choice of color, copy, and even the use of models in your product images all influence how effective an ad might be. 

But notably, one question marketers have always grappled with is: 

Are models an effective tool for improving the performance of an advertising campaign? 

In this blog post, we will unpack the role of models in advertising and how they can affect the performance of different messages. 

Read on to gain insight into when models can enhance your message—and when you should avoid them altogether.

Let's go! 

On average, including models in content improves performance by 45%

When we compared ads across all audiences and messages, we found that models can boost performance by as much as 45%. 

Because of our innate human nature, faces can be a potent design tool. 

From birth, our brains are naturally hard-wired to recognize faces. This is biologically ingrained into the way we perceive the world.  

Therefore, using a model can help make your ads more noticeable regarding your choice of advertising designs. 

Viewers will also relate better to a model using a product than when looking at a product placed on a plain colored background. 

Especially if the model is shown to be happy or confident while using the product, viewers will immediately associate that feeling with whatever it is you're selling. 

And what does that type of association do? 

It automatically makes your product or service seem more desirable to your audience! 

Ultimately, using models allows you to provoke emotions within your viewers and draw attention more effectively than when displaying ads without them.

News, Sales and Other messages benefit from models in the content

So now we know that using models in your content can improve performance by as much as 45%. 

But for new products or collections specifically, the positive impact of using a model is even more significant—a whopping 150% boost in performance! 

Similarly, using a model was shown to improve the performance of sales and other ad messages by 37% and 38%, respectively. 

Once again, this comes back to the fact that viewers relate better to a live model than to a product shown against a plain-colored background. 

When someone sees your model using a product that looks to be working well, they'll also imagine themselves using a product that functions well. 

The key takeaway is that using a model can help prime the emotion of your viewers. 

You want your ad viewers to associate your product or offering with positive emotions. 

Using models enables you to do precisely that! 

And although using a model will boost performance for sales or other types of messages, models have the most significant impact on ads about new products or collections. 

So if you're trying to get people pumped up about a new product you're bringing to market, you should definitely consider using models in your content.  

For Competition, Shipping and Free messages, models lower performance

While there are certainly benefits to using models in your ads, there are also some cases where such use can harm performance. 

When advertising competition-based or shipping messages, we found that using models can decrease performance by as much as 10%. 

Relatively speaking, this is an insignificant decrease in performance, and results may vary depending on the industry, target audience, and offering. 

But more importantly, when mentioning the word "FREE" in ad content, we found that using a model can harm performance by as much as 60%.

That's equivalent to cutting the performance of your ad by more than half! 

Our take on this is that the word "FREE" is already easily noticeable in an advertisement. 

And it's highly effective at capturing viewer attention. 

Therefore, using a model could potentially detract from the strength of the offer itself and, in turn, decrease the effectiveness of your ad. 

So, for example, if you're planning on launching an ad to announce FREE shipping on orders over $50, it's best to leave out any visuals featuring human models. 

When to use models and when to avoid it

In conclusion, whether or not you should include models in your next advertising campaigns depends on what type of message you're trying to deliver. 

While including them generally has a positive effect on performance (+45%), their usefulness varies greatly depending on the context of each individual message. 

For instance, while models can enhance the power and visibility of new product ads (+150%), they should be avoided when delivering competition-based messages or when offering free products, services, or shipping offers, where their use will likely harm performance. 

By considering these factors when crafting your next ad campaign, you can ensure that all visuals support—rather than detract from—the effectiveness of each ad you launch!  

And on another note, you can also try editing and customizing your dynamic ads using Confect!

Try a free demo of Confect today and see how including relevant information, like prices, discounts, and brand logos, can have a positive impact on your campaign performance!

More to read

This article focuses purely on how models affect the performance of different messages. Keep optimizing with the following insights:

Data section

The dataset from this article is based on 7.1B impressions and 59.1K pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all countries and industries, with the campaign objective of Conversions. The period is from 1. September 2021 - 16. September 2022.

Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary.

If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect, here.