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New Research Says That Women Will Like Either Your Brand or Themselves—Not Both

It's the old ad default: A product looks better with a pretty girl next to it. But a study by Insead shows that women feel differently (about the brand, and themselves) depending on what the girl is doing.

New Research Says That Women Will Like Either Your Brand or Themselves--Not Both

[Image: Vladimir Gerasimov via Shutterstock]

If she's... just a pretty face

If she's... engaging with the product

What's going on: If you're looking out for the brand, "a story line is a good way to draw viewers' attention away from the idealized [woman]," says researcher Tamara Ansons. "Know who your target is and make ads that will not be threatening to them."

*Percentages relative to mean rating by a control group of viewers, on a scale of 1 to 7

A version of this article appeared in the November 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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