An interesting argument is bound to occur during your marketing career. The argument is simple. Should you use images in your marketing material of actual, real customers, or images of staged, scenery perfect models?
To answer this conundrum, one must step away from their marketing profession and get in the mind of their consumers. Are your consumers happy with the way they are, without your product? Or are they purchasing your product because they aren’t completely happy and need your product in order to help them get closer to the ideal situation?
Customers buy your jeans/car/butter not because they need it, but because they like the way the product helps them get closer to their ideal self image. When customers buy the latest TV/iPod/electronic they’re doing it because it makes them feel as though they are elevating their self worth, that they are making themselves more important, valuable, cool, and sexy.
The only way they get this feeling is if the product and brand give them that edge and the only way to build your brand is to put it above reality in a place that your customers can reach with your product.
A few years ago Dove made a lot of waves in the advertising world when they promoted real women in their commercials. The ultimate problem with this approach is that the real women don’t evoke a sense of desire. People don’t want to be real, they want to be elite, unique, special individuals that make their own decisions and rely on no one. Its the responsibility of the marketing team to create this image and promote their products as the gateway between the ideal and reality.