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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.

[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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