Something missing? Exactly.
How to glamorize your product.
We’ve come to associate glamour with the rich and famous but it isn’t only about bow ties and ball gowns. It’s an illusion and a form of persuasion. It focuses on people’s desires while giving you a sense that it’s attainable. The secret? Knowing what to leave out.
“Glamour is a beautiful illusion - the word 'glamour' originally meant a literal magic spell - that promises to transcend ordinary life and make the ideal real. It depends on a special combination of mystery and grace. Too much information breaks the spell.” - Virginia Postrel, The Power of Glamour.
Shadows and silhouettes
The magic, the mystery, is in the partial reveal. Shadows and silhouettes force your imagination to fill in what you do not see.
Looking down a hallway or through a window can provide a glimpse of your future, like time travel. Your eyes are drawn to the other side. It invites you to pass through.
When part of an image is cut off or lies outside the frame, you automatically imagine the rest of the image. This technique has been intentionally used by great photographers, videographers, cinematographers, and writers to create a sense of mystery.
Black and white
Create a sense of intrigue by removing color. Black and white intensifies the visual by emphasizing the lines and contrast.
Eyes looking away
This technique nudges you to wonder what’s going on. It gets you to wonder what she’s looking at.
“Glamour invites us to live in a different world. It has to simultaneously be mysterious, a little bit distant - that's why, often in these glamour shots, the person is not looking at the audience, it's why sunglasses are glamorous - but also not so far above us that we can't identify with the person.” - Virginia Postrel
Glamour exists on the border between the obvious and the hidden. It provides a blank space for the imagination, a spot where the audience can project its own desires.
Elegant verbal description is all about knowing what to leave out. Leave out all of the negatives, the pain and suffering, the loneliness, the hardships, and focus on the happy future that you could bring to your customers.
“Glamour is not something you possess but something you perceive, not something you have but something you feel. It is a subjective response to a stimulus.” - Virginia Postrel
This video of King Henry’s speech to his men is a perfect example of knowing what to leave out. He inspires them by focusing on the good things that are to come and ignores the bad that is happening right now.
The ideas in this article come from Virgina Postrel’s book. You can buy it here.
Does your product need a touch of glamour? Are you giving your customers too much information?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner