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Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Visual media: the unstoppable revolution in the advertising world

Waseem Yaki, CEO, Zia Creative


Visual media: the unstoppable revolution in the advertising world

By Waseem Yakdi, CEO, Zia Creative

Visuals are worth a thousand words, and marketers are losing no time in realizing this.

Show, don’t tell.

The advertising world is taking a colossal leap in altering the cliché methods of brand promotion. Not very long ago was written content considered as one of the most robust formulae for engaging the target audience, but visual media has strikingly taken the advertising world by storm by triggering the senses of the brand’s target audience. Effective visuals have become a powerhouse to boost engagement and stimulate communication.

While flipping through magazine pages or scrolling down our Facebook feed, our eyes often get glued to the intriguing and enthralling images and videos more than just plain text. I still remember some of the most unconventional and bizarre TV commercials I saw several years back. I even remember the brand, the design and even the locations of certain billboards I pass by on my way to work, as the visuals on the billboards were exceptionally engaging.

Studies show our brains not only process visuals faster, but they retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually. Considering this, marketers and agencies are now on a run to carefully integrate different forms of thought-provoking images and videos into their brand endorsement strategies.

An apple a day helps memory stay: why visuals are crucial?

If a message is conveyed to the audience and no one remembers it, did it really happen?

Today, it’s easy for information to get drowned in the endless digital ocean or ignored if it’s not in a digestible format. In such a scenario, the advent of digital cameras, smartphones, and social media have provided a platform to reach out to the world by creating visuals capable of leaving a long-term impact on the minds of the target audience.

By 2021, video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to CISCO, so it’s not difficult to understand why while 87 percent of online marketers are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

Thanks to its viral nature, highly-economical and built-in value, visuals are the future of brand promotion in years to come. It has an unrivaled potential to create emotion driven sales – and sales are always personal on some level. Buyers always wish to see and feel the product before making a choice, and powerful images and creative videos can emphatically produce that feeling.

Making an expressive video or capturing a stirring image requires creativity and understanding of human psychology. The cocktail of these elements can do wonders for any business.

Agencies turning into studios

As video production and photography take center stage, it has become imperative for ad agencies to develop in-house studios and hire professionals to meet the swelling demand for good-quality videos and pictures from clients. In-house production helps clients react to the market, and such ability in an agency is capable of addressing any type of content, be it a big-budget broadcast or a low-budget social media video.

Any agency today that is not able to create videos/pictures for Instagram, Facebook, live streams and commercials for TV will find itself at risk as these capabilities are pre-requisites to the sustainability of the agency. Now traditional agencies are competing to catch up with digital ones, which have long had digital video capabilities.

Agencies have been outsourcing the professional services of studios and production houses for their clients for developing commercials, videos for social media and pictures.

The flip side of this is that these services often exceed the budgets of the small companies who don’t have lofty marketing budgets. Besides this, the advertising agency doesn’t have a direct control over the cost and quality of the video/pictures. Therefore, the time is not far when all the agencies will transform into production houses.

Conclusion: In today’s noisy world, being outlandish helps you stand apart from the crowd. Churning out meaningful, targeted, and engaging visuals can be one of the most beneficial tools to elevate your brand and foster a connection with your customers. The goal of every business should be that the audience should scroll by without a second glance.

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