Effects of face images and face pareidolia on consumers’ responses to print advertising

Gianluigi Guido, Marco Pichierri, Giovanni Pino, Rajan Nataraajan

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his research investigates whether print advertisements featuring faces (i.e., face advertisements) or facelike images (i.e., pareidolian advertisements) better capture consumer attention than advertisements that do not include such elements. In two studies, the researchers examined the effects of exposing consumers to print advertisements containing faces or pareidolian images for short time lapses—one-half, one, and three seconds. The results show that both advertisement types captured viewers' attention and more frequently were recognized than advertisements that did not feature faces or facelike objects. Both face advertisements and pareidolian advertisements increased brand recognition and advertisement preference. Theoretical and operational implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advertising Research
Early online date19 Jul 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 19 Jul 2018


  • Faces
  • pareidolia
  • orienting response
  • attention
  • ad preference
  • ad recognition
  • brand recognition


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