That's the amount of time you have to get a viewer's attention with your ad, billboard or TV spot.

If they are drawn in long enough to look at your ad you have just 7 seconds more to hold their attention and communicate your message.

As an advertising photographer and creative director it amazes me how many small to medium sized businesses fail to understand the importance of well photographed and designed marketing materials.

There is a science to advertising.

It certainly isn't an exact science, but never the less, to do it well takes skill and understanding of the rules in design that have been around since the Greeks developed the Golden Mean rectangle to create eye pleasing balance in sculpture and art.

I'm not saying you always have to follow the rules, but in any form of media there is a need to understand the rules before you can break them successfully.

In advertising we understand successful print ads or TV commercials have a carefully thought out structure. Through training and experience we learn to arrange and size elements within a magazine page or screen area so the audience gets the message quickly and clearly. It's our knowledge of the "science" behind all forms of media that makes our creative skills valuable to any business, regardless of it's size.

Unfortunately, we are seeing many people who like to think of themselves as a designers or photographers because computer programs now make it possible for anyone to set type and drop in a photo.  

The secretary who did the newsletters in Word is designing ads and marketing materials. A college intern who bought the latest Nikon camera and Photoshop instantly becomes the company "photographer", and shoots the ads!

The business may have saved a buck or two by not hiring a professional, but what was the real cost in dollars lost in those 2 short seconds due to poor photography and design?

Fine artist have understood how to use shapes and color in their paintings to cause people to stop, stare, and feel an emotion. That knowledge is still part of the foundation used in modern advertising design.

Few viewers of any visual media realize how the movement of their eye is being controlled by the careful placement of various elements within a photograph or page layout design. Directing the eye through an ad is a skill, not a computer program.

So, what does all this mean to your business?

When you have spent so much time, money and effort to grow your business look to a creative source with a well proven track record to make those 2 seconds count.

John Beckett
Creative Director
J2 Photo Productions