Two eggs lie beside each other on a white background, one cracked and the other uncracked.

Professors in Turkey and Texas Collaborate on Consumer Behavior Research

  • Feb 18, 2022

New marketing research from professors at The University of Texas at Austin has unlocked connections between visual clutter and buying behavior. 

Raj Raghunathan, professor of marketing at the McCombs School of Business, has teamed up with Marketing Department Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and Gunes Biliciler (Ph.D. ’21) of Koç Üniversitesi in Istanbul, Turkey, to explore the implications of visual entropy for marketers looking to tailor their ad campaigns.  

The study is the first to assess how the level of disorder, or entropy, in images affects consumers’ decisions. It revealed that customers view vintage products more favorably when their ads feature disorganized pictures, while they prefer futuristic products paired with simple depictions. 

Using the example of an egg, Raghunathan explained that disorganized images cause us to think of the past, while organized ones evoke thoughts of the future. When someone sees a picture of a broken egg, they wonder what happened in the past to make it so. But the vision of a simple, uncracked egg inspires questions of what it will be used for in the future. 

In this way, Raghunathan says, “The images we see in front of us have the power to transport us to the past or future, or even keep us in the present.” 

Read the full article from the McCombs School of Business