It’s pretty silly when you think about it. Why would a mere picture of a shark scare you? It’s just a picture.

But Jaws did scare people. Granted, it was a moving picture, but still — just a picture of a shark that can’t actually hurt you. And yet it scared tens of millions of movie goers when it came out, and hudreds of millions more over the years.

So while lazy ad writers turn to bright red colors and images of nubile women to attract attention, the truth is that there are plenty of more effective options available. Take, for example, this beauty I saw on my Facebook page the other day:

Social Security FB Ad

It’s just a picture of a treasury check, but it sure grabbed my attention just as well as if a real treasury check popped out of an envelope and into my hand.

Sure the colors grabbed my attention, but it was the image that compelled me to read the headline and scan the body copy.

Of course, the image really needs to be thematically or logically tied to the product (something the pictures of attractive females never really achieve), but there are tons of options out there for people willing to brainstorm a little.

Just think: what image (or real item) might:

  • cause alarm,
  • incite greed,
  • provoke nostalgic thoughts,
  • inspire a sense of mystique
  • and so on…

Then take your list of images and sort them by how thematically correct you can get them. Then go on an image search for visually impactful and colorful photos.

And if that sounds like work, see for yourself how much more effective the treasury check is than the usual “hot babe” photo:

Social Security FB Ad 2

It might temporarily grab your eye, but it hardly compells you to read the copy, and if you DO happen to read the copy, don’t you pretty much automatically discount the message due  to the ads cheasy image and image-message disconnect?

Of course you do. So does everyone.

So take a few extra moments and look for a Jaws-powered image that’ll jolt Facebookers awake and compell them to read your ad.