We've all seen the light beer commercials with young, impossibly attractive people guzzling a product that, by all rights, should be making them fat and unhealthy. The obvious question is, "Do they think we're really that stupid? That we think if we drink their beer we'll become supermodels?"
Good question. But it gets the real thinking backwards.
When you show people using the product, you're helping the prospect visualize themselves using it. Make it seem familiar and safe, instead of new and unknown.
But since you can't put each viewer into their own personalized version of the ad (yet), you have to use a stand-in. If you show someone that the viewer would like to be, it increases their desire to want to recreate that image.
So you don't want the prospect thinking, "If I use that product, I will become like that cool, attractive person in the ad." You want them thinking, "Because I am cool and attractive, I can see myself using that product."
It's the same thinking that leads to cliques and fads:
- I'm not cool because I wear Air Jordans. I wear Jordans because I'm cool.
- I'm not tough because I play rugby. I play rugby because I'm tough.
- I'm not a redneck because I drive a truck. I drive a truck because I'm a redneck.