“Hey Chief – eyes on your own paper, okay?”
If you’ve laughed at the Sears Optical TV spot where the near-sighted husband mistakes a mannequin for a dude eyeing up his wife, we’re already on the same wavelength.
Now think about this: let’s say you’re perusing a dating website, one that’s replete with pictures of prospective love interests.
At some point, you happen across a page with four incredibly attractive women/men and one avatar. Now, the avatar may have an edgy hairstyle and really big doe eyes (if you like that sort of thing), among other articles of perfection.
Here’s the question: Aside from satisfying your curiosity (“Why the heck would someone use an avatar in place of a photo of him or herself ON A DATING WEBSITE?”), wouldn’t you be most likely to click on one of the profiles represented by an actual photo? Of course! Admittedly, you’d be running the risk of missing out on an actual living, breathing avatar-like human, but what are the chances of that? Seriously?!
Next, put yourself in your automotive customers’ shoes.
If you’re online looking for a new or pre-owned vehicle, would you rather see the actual vehicle in which you’re interested, or an approximate representation thereof?