The Power of Before-and-After Photos

“It pays to illustrate the end-result of using your product. Before-and-after photographs seem to fascinate readers. In a study of 70 campaigns whose sales results were known, Gallup did not find a single before-and-after campaign that did not increase sales.”

— David Ogilvy in Ogilvy on Advertising


Granted, most generic before and after photo formats require a bit more room than Facebook’s allotted 80 by 120 pixels. And finding the right before-and-after takes more work than most want to spend on an Facebook ad image.

But neither of these obstacles is insurmountable. A little creativity, the right perspective, and some zooming in & cropping can make before-and-after photos perfectly workable for small images.  And frankly, it’s foolish NOT to work hard to find the right image for a Facebook ad, as almost no other element can so easily make or break your ad’s performance.

So, boy wasn’t I thrilled to have my eyeballs grabbed and curiosity piqued by this Facebook ad from Merrill Lynch:

Quite the dramatic before-and-after, right?

And the image works brilliantly with the headline as the perfect into to their advertised product.

The only negative about the whole ad is the lack-luster follow-up copy. But that’s not really the point. The point is that the image & headline combo got me to notice and read the ad, instantly. I didn’t search out this ad — I spotted it the instant it popped up onto my page, simply from the drama and power of the before-and-after image.

So don’t let weight loss and fitness products keep the power of before-and-after photos all to themselves  — consider how you might take advantage of this instant attention-getter for your next Facebook campaign.

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