What do newspaper or magazine readers see, without having a conscious reaction, as they glance past ads?

Here is part of a multi-photo department store ad for brassieres. As usual, any photo is a moment from a movie--and hints at a story, a set of relationships.

What do you notice on your own ?

Bra ad

If you start reading the photo from the upper left corner, you can't miss that both women are looking at something--different. What is the woman on the left looking at?

The product, of course, but also the body it's on. How can you be sure? We'll get to that. But first, the woman on the right. She is looking away, outside the picture frame. She's also touching her hair, perhaps preening--normally a sign (in body language) of getting/giving attention.

Now look even more closely. Can you see that the woman on the left is not only looking but also pressing against the other woman? Here's a close-up.

Closeup Bra Touch

Can you can see the indentation where the bras touch. That shows there's pressure-- enough pressure that BOTH women have to know that touch is happening.

But one woman is looking off to the right of the page. If you could see the entire page you would see she is 'looking at' a different woman in another picture across from her. That woman is looking down, at nothing, as if shy.

Of course, the various editors who posed and arranged this collection of ad photos were the ones who 'made' this woman look at the woman across the page. Very little happens by accident in advertising.

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