In visual rhetoric, there is something called “affect transfer.” It’s when you generate an emotional response, and then immediately show something to which you’d like people to connect the emotion. Visually, we tend to be drawn to the center of the image, then “read” left to right, and top to bottom, so generally you want to frame your affect transfer appropriately. So, you know, the cigarette ad wants you to think of rugged, rugged, manly, rugged… Marlboro!
Or you’ve got a president who you kind of wish seemed a little more… presidential…
There are, of course, the examples that fry your brain a little. Take this one:
Just kind of interesting. But also useful. Spouse mad at you? Ask if they’d like some ice cream or glass of wine and hold both right next to your face! Trying to get noticed by your employer? Hang pictures of superheroes, money, and – I don’t know – gold bars? behind you!
That’s why I’m here. To help. Happy. Money. Loved. Puppy. Wine. Byronic Man.