Advertising Cognition

Psychological aspects of why UGC ads showing people trying on different clothes is appealing?

I get it, it looks genuine. But what are the deeper psychological aspects?

  1. Vicarious Living: Observing someone else engage in an activity can allow the observer to experience the feelings associated with that activity without actually doing it. This is particularly true for activities that carry a sense of exploration or experimentation, like trying on clothes. The viewer may subconsciously “try on” the clothes alongside the content creator, experiencing the emotions tied to each outfit.
  2. Mirror Neurons: From a neurological perspective, mirror neurons in the brain activate both when a person performs an action and when they see someone else perform the same action. This suggests that watching someone try on clothes can, to some extent, make the viewer feel as if they are the ones engaging in the activity.
  3. Projection and Identity Exploration: Trying on clothes is an exploration of identity, as clothing is a medium of self-expression. Observing someone else in this act can subconsciously prompt viewers to reflect on their own identities, preferences, and desires. They might imagine themselves in each outfit and evaluate how each aligns with their self-perception.
  4. Uncertainty Reduction: Choosing clothing can be a complex decision with many variables. Watching someone else go through the process can reduce the uncertainty associated with such decisions by offering visual feedback on how different clothes fit and look. This can be especially enticing for viewers who are considering purchasing similar items.
  5. Neurochemical Responses: Positive reactions and expressions from the person trying on the clothes can elicit feelings of joy or pleasure in viewers. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, may be released when viewers see an outfit that they find particularly appealing or when they relate to the positive emotions expressed by the content creator.
  6. Social Comparison Theory: People often compare themselves subconsciously to others to evaluate their own status, abilities, or worth. Seeing someone else try on clothes can trigger these comparative instincts. This can result in various emotions, from admiration and inspiration to envy, depending on the viewer’s self-perception and the perceived “gap” between them and the content creator.
  7. Empathy and Emotional Resonance: Humans have an innate ability to empathize. If the content creator expresses discomfort, joy, insecurity, or confidence when trying on different outfits, viewers might resonate with those emotions, drawing them deeper into the experience.
  8. Novelty and The Brain: The human brain is wired to be attracted to novelty. Observing a variety of outfits and styles offers a continuous stream of novel visual stimuli, which can be inherently attention-grabbing and rewarding.
  9. Fantasy and Escapism: Watching these try-on sessions can be a form of escapism for some people. They might fantasize about owning such clothes, attending events where they could wear them, or even about the life and experiences of the content creator.
  10. Validation and Affirmation: If a viewer sees someone with a similar body type or style preference embracing their appearance and expressing confidence, it can offer validation and affirmation. It reinforces the idea that they too can look good and feel confident in similar outfits.

To summarize: The act of watching someone try on clothes engages various cognitive processes, emotional responses, and neural mechanisms, which collectively contribute to the content’s allure. Whether it’s through vicarious experiences, emotional resonance, or the inherent attraction to novelty, these sessions captivate viewers by tapping into fundamental aspects of human psychology