Why do we value shiny things?

diamond background

Early settlers collected gold nuggets even though as metals go it was soft and served no real purpose. Children who do not yet associate gloss with wealth and luxury are attracted to shiny objects and some animals have been known to collect shiny objects in their burrows.

Why? I'm glad you asked.

Through experiments performed by Vanessa Patrick and her collaborators from Ghent University in Belgium, it was hypothesized that our preference for shiny things is built within us as a means of survival. In other words, our obsession for glossy, shiny, glittery and sparkly things might be rooted in a very basic instinct and primitive desire for water.

Water reflects light, which catches our attention. It is fascinating to realize that despite all of our evolutionary leaps and bounds, the decisions we make in our daily life may still be influenced by our basic need for water.

Consider these shiny objects:

Shiny has many associations: new, clean, hydrated, fun, and aesthetically pleasing.

Although gloss and glitter are not right for all products, reflective finishes certainly work for some. This is why many companies choose to incorporate this into their final product design.

We love shiny and sparkly objects and it is fun to contemplate why.

I'm thirsty... 

P.S. I leave you with a very short comedic bit from Jeff Foxworthy... all about shiny stuff. Enjoy!

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner