Are slideshows a powerful advertising tool?

In my quest for an answer I have explored the qualities of a slideshow, its potential and functionality.

Some people might argue that a slideshow is just a display in the form of a series of static images, typically in a prearranged sequence. The changes may be automatic and at regular intervals, or they might be manually controlled by a presenter or the viewer, therefore its options are limited.

The above assertion would be true if we were to refer to the slideshow in a classic way, or to the ones we used to make in 1987 with PowerPoint, but the static world of slides has developed with technology. Softwares used now enhance the slideshow experience altogether with the integration of pictures, text and videos with transitions, music and special effects; which can help you convey a powerful message.

Its in-between stage makes it versatile together with the variety of applications it can be applied to, ranging from personal, to academic projects and promotional pursuit. Considering that in the modern times it is all about both the visual quality of things and functionality - if "a picture is worth a thousand words" the openings for a creative interpretation are endless.

Reviewing how social media has taken centre stage in forming cultural trends, the multiple choice of media formats a slideshow offers has contributed to its success. As a result, you can copy the content of a slideshow onto a DVD or onto a memory stick, which in turn you can plug into your PC, your tablet, your phone or a projector. It is also possible to save it as a downloadable link.

At this stage of my thinking process, I would like to develop a metaphorical ground to discuss how a slideshow is a powerful advertising tool. As I worked in retail management for over a decade, I am well aware of the importance of visual merchandising. The art of VM (visual merchandising) is to develop floor plans and three-dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. Both goods and services can be displayed to highlight their features and benefits. The purpose of such visual merchandising is to attract, engage, and motivate the customer towards making a purchase. In other words, VM is the added value, which contributes to define a brand's personality and the characteristics associated with the brand. VM does not just communicate through the exaltation of the visual sense, there is a background work of research into the market target in order to find out what customers values and their self-images are. Lighting, music, TV screens, banners, packaging and product information contribute to the story telling and they help customers to engage and boost brand loyalty. The above process is common to the slideshow creation.

Similarly, the power of the slideshow is in its story telling qualities. Digressing to the history of slideshows, dating back to the 1600s with the lanterna magica "magic lantern", the hand painted images were projected onto a wall to much awe of an enchanted audience with their captivating, colourful representation.

The modern slideshow is still transforming space through the magnification of projected pictures and text like the magic lantern used to, it also grasps an audience' attention with a compelling story through attractive graphics, colour, bold and meaningful text as it develops its informative purpose, a sentimental quality or a promotional content. It certainly defines individuality as it is custom made with its editable content.

As a result, I do believe slideshows are a powerful advertising tool, especially if done professionally by a graphic designer and a content editor, because they can help you to advertise and market your company in a more memorable way, tailored to your company's ethos, mission, products and services. The slideshow will leave a lasting impression helping your company to be more visible by creating and maintaining awareness of who you are, what you do and why you are excellent at it, without bombarding your audience with lengthy descriptions but through impactful images and short clear messages and much more.

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