Is it possible to be too attractive?

Women and men on advertising posters, in brochures and advertising films are usually beautifully above average. They are a popular means of getting products or services to apply effectively. The use of an attractive advertising ambassador is essential, especially in the beauty and fashion industry.

One explanation is provided by the Advertising psychology. She describes this phenomenon as a “stereotype of physical attractiveness”. We generally unconsciously ascribe many other positive qualities to people we find attractive. They are perceived as more sexually passionate and more socially competent. Good-looking people continue to be seen as more sociable - that is, friendlier - and more dominant than people who look less good. They are considered to be more self-confident and mentally healthier and therefore happier and more emotionally stable.

An attractive appearance is not a subjective matter, at least not in a certain cultural area. We mostly agree on what is beautiful. What is beautiful is what is considered a signal for health, fertility and youth, such as healthy, strong hair or smooth and soft skin.

There are also clear findings with regard to the gender difference. These confirm that women are particularly receptive to men with status and dominance. In the case of women, men whose characteristics indicate maturity are considered to be particularly attractive. Characteristics of this are protruding cheekbones, a long, strong chin, a broad smile and a dress style and appearance that indicate high status. For men, status and dominance is not a criterion for attractiveness to the opposite sex. You are receptive to women who display traits of youth, health, and fertility.

From an evolutionary theoretical point of view, this is understandable. Men choose women who are likely to produce and raise healthy offspring. Women prefer men who can provide the necessary resources for this.


Psychology meets advertising - conclusion:

We just particularly like physically attractive people! And that is why they are better suited to convey influencing communication than other, less attractive people. They are perceived as more trustworthy and personable in advertising. They are also more likely to be trusted to be familiar with the product being advertised.

In advertising design, it is even better to not choose a communicator than an unattractive one! However, advantages cannot be demonstrated for all product categories by displaying an attractive communicator, for example in the case of cheese or fruit juice advertising. Cosmetics and beauty service providers, retailers or manufacturers of fashion products should definitely use an attractive channel.


Expert in information processing & advertising psychology
Andreas Krautz
Diploma in communication psychologist (FH)