Using an attractive person to promote a product has been a marketing gimmick for as long as there has been marketing – and probably even before the discipline arose that was done. Images of attractive people stimulate our reptilian brain and capture our attention and affect our judgment and behaviour.
Roger Dooley, over at Neuromarketing, has a highly interesting post based on a study about the effect of attractive females over men discount rate, making them more impatient and more prone to prefer short-term monetary rewards. Here’s an excerpt:
Evolutionary psychologists Margo Wilson and Martin Daly (both of McMaster University) studied this phenomenon and concluded that pictures of attractive women were causing men to “discount the future” more by putting them in a “mating” frame of mind. A clever experimental plan demonstrated the priming effect of photos of attractive women.