Advertising, Design, Image Editing, Theory

How to Seize the Readers Attention with Image Captions

2 Comments 02 January 2010

Improve reader retention by adding image captions

Improve reader retention by adding image captions

The Hierarchy of an Ad

The all time copywriting authority John Caples was a staunch proponent of researching the effectiveness of an advertisement. Over the years and all the data he had acquired with research, he came to the conclusion that most people look at advertisement in the following order:

  1. Image
  2. Image caption (The text explaining the image, usually placed right below the image)
  3. Headline (The text that stands out in size and styling)
  4. Copy (Main text of the advertisement)
  5. Information about the company (Address/Contact)

Seizing the Reader’s Attention

Unlike textbooks, people skim through advertisements at exceptionally high speeds, thus the battle to grab the attention of the reader is difficult to say the least. In the hunt for reader attention, images are still the most important portion of an ad and require careful choosing so the reader is able to easily digest the message and make them want to learn more by reading the copy. But between the image and copy lies an essential appetizer that stimulates the hunger of the reader from the image to main copy.


The Little Caption That Could

As we learned above from the research by Caples, image captions are great opportunities to not only explain the image, but to stimulate an eager want for the reader to continue on to the main copy. If the image is chosen wisely, much of your message will be understood immediately, but it’s never a bad idea to reinforce the image with a great description/copy and whet the appetite of the reader. Now that the image caption has prompted the reader to invest more into the advertisement, the odds are higher that they’ll their way into the main copy.

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2 Comments so far

  1. College says:

    Amiable brief and this article helped me a lot in my college assignment. Thank you.


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