The majority of humans have a natural and fundamental need to create and maintain stable relationships in their lives.

For those who may not be the best and making and keeping friends, or endure other factors that prevent the formation of relationships, they find that fundamental need in the products they buy.  Bettina Cornwell, co-author of a study from the University of Oregon, said “Visuals can fill a void for consumers experiencing a lack of social connection.  When people see faces in branding materials, their likeability for that brand goes up.”

The research team created fictitious brands and advertisements, with some clearly depicting human faces. The study participants were asked a series of questions about the fictitious brands, the images that accompanied them, and themselves.  The research team found there was a clear likeability among the participants for brands that showed a human face in their visuals, especially amongst the participants who identified themselves as having a high rate of loneliness.

Cornwell continued, “A lack of interpersonal relationships motivates people to actively search for sources of connection.  Individuals who are lonely are more likely to find faces in visuals because they so greatly desire this social connection.”

Via Daily Mail

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