Open any magazine and you’ll see images that have been retouched into oblivion. Perfect skin, narrow waists, flawless hair – these manipulated images depict people you’ll never see this way in real life. But by now we are all pretty much aware of this fact.
But when you purchase a product, specifically a boxed product, you rely on the photo to give you a real sense of what’s inside. Sure it might be retouched to improve color, texture or blemishes, but it should certainly be shown to scale in proportion with the other objects or people in the image.
For example, I recently purchased this inflatable pool for my kids – the Slide ‘N Splash Whale Pool from Banzai. From the photo on the box, it looks like a decent sized pool. And although the true dimensions are written on the box, it’s typically the photo a consumer would rely on to determine whether or not to purchase a product.
What I learned once I unpacked and inflated the product, is that it is proportionally MUCH smaller than what is depicted on the box. Not slightly, which might be forgivable, but vastly and greatly different. Unless these children are approximately 18-inches tall, there is no way this photo is real. This photo has been modified, at the very least, to shrink the images of the children to probably two thirds to half of their actual size. In reality, the slide is so small that when my 2 year-old sits at the top, her feet reach into the pool. (Yes, my daughter is an average-sized child.)
From a marketing and design perspective, this is blatant and intentional deception. By “faking” the proportions in their favor, Banzai believes they will sell more pools. And they probably will. I would not have bought it if the photo had more accurately depicted the size of the product. But they won’t make their customers happy by deceiving them. In fact, I have bought my first, and last Banzai product.