Let’s assume you like the work you see here. But you can’t see how it applies in a commercial setting- pretty, yes, but can it sell?
So- who’s my Perfect Client?
Let’s start with the most obvious- upper-end destination properties, particularly with a family appeal. But first, a little background.
Top-line destinations- hotels, resorts, cruise ships, museums, art galleries, national parks, hospitals (yes!) retirement communities- all tend to be pretty conservative with their imagery. Lots and lots of perfectly produced beautiful photography of interiors, lobbies the obligatory shot of the half-naked woman, breasts-down (but sexy and tastefully revealing side-boob shots) with hot stones on her back. [How many times have we seen that shot?] And let’s not forget the shot of the dining couple confronted by salads, either toasting with sparkling wine or watching the waiter (we sell service!) pour the wine. And how about the ballroom/meeting room shot or the entry portico with a bellman (we sell service!) carrying the bags, enamored couple beginning their resort journey, on their way to the next photo, relaxing in the hot tub with umbrella-ed drinks on a tray wielding server (we sell service!).
I’ve created all these for clients, and they all represent what I consider “ad copy” derived imagery. Because each image has a mental word-based checklist:
Beautifully designed facade
Extra facilities, also beautiful
Pool with bar
Golf course, perfectly manicured at sunrise
However cliché, without these images consumers can become wary. Deviation from those tired images might cause hesitation prior to clicking on a final reservation page that displays many safer options.
So these destinations continue to cough up the same images.
My Perfect Client can see beyond that cliché- and add appeal to their destination. Perfect Client understands it’s not sufficient to show what the property looks like, but what the property feels like. How that property will appeal to their customer on an emotional level.
Emotions are not rational like the previously mentioned ad-copy derived images. Emotions (and the imagery that results) are more abstract in nature- pleasure, fun, motion, glow, elation, respite, calm, sympathetic, curious, eager, gleeful, mischievous, wonderful. And how do these emotional words transfer to a destination? Easy- it means sales.
The art of advertising not only includes being informative, but it’s the illusive emotional appeal that immediately converts the informed to customers. I believe it’s no longer sufficient to inform with literal ad-copy based imagery, but properties can (and should) add the emotionally derived images to the mix.
Enter [stage right], my Perfect Client. Have a quick look at my site’s images, in particular the “stories” section. These images are not substitutions for the informative images, but are very powerful ways to help Perfect Client’s customers connect emotionally to their destination. These images reflect a creative freedom from the informative list, They’re fresh, fun and are emotionally driven. From there, the equation is pretty simple-
Emotional Response x (your brand) = Sales.
Perfect Client understands that equation, and will shape their destination’s appeal with that firmly in mind.
How do you create emotional appeal for your destination?