Video Marketing; The "Halo Effect"

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The first recorded research into what is termed the halo effect was conducted by Edward Thorndike in 1920. Thorndike published his findings in a paper called “The Constant Error in Psychological Ratings”. He argued that once people have a perception of a person and judge them on one specific level that this judgement then rubs off on their perception of the person on many other levels.

This phenomenon has a number of potential applications for marketing in general and particularly in video marketing.


Vostit_video_marketing_halo_effectUnderstanding and using the halo effect improves the response of online videos.

At its core the halo effect informs us that we form overall opinions about someone once we have a few specific reference points about them.

We assume just because someone is good at ‘A’ they will also be good at B and C.

An example might be that because someone is likeable, we assume they are also intelligent, and like us in return.

Politicians are masters of the halo effect. If they come across as friendly and kind, that impression can provide a different context for opinions and policies which are the opposite of friendly and kind.

There are several ways you can use the halo effect to your advantage when producing online videos, and the following are a few straightforward strategies that can be used to great effect:

Collaborate with a well-known brand, reaping the rewards of allying your reputation to theirs. Whilst Her Majesty The Queen is not going to be in your video, mention that your company has a Royal warrant is incredibly powerful.

When interviewing well-known people in your video, you will be associated with the glow of their halo, and benefit from their credibility and their following. (Thinking you could interview Nelson Mandela and Ban Ki Moon may be aiming a little high!)

Refer to respected experts and white papers in relation to your business. By association you will gain kudos, for example, a reference to the words and actions of international dignitaries such as Aung San Suu Kyi will serve to align your brand with good works.

Please note…cynical attempts to deceive your audience will not work, telling the truth in marketing produces long term sustainable results.

The power of the impressions we form are indelible; get a first impression wrong and it is almost impossible to undo the damage.

Check out: Vostit for more ideas of how to use Video in Marketing.

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