Are Un-Retouched Ads Making a Difference?


Up until recently, it was completely acceptable to heavily edit models in photos for advertisements to appear closer to society’s “ideal” body. This editing started innocently enough by retouching small blemishes, and it grew into the expected routine of completely adjusting body-types.

As of late, more companies and organizations are making a point to use un-retouched images of models in their ads, and they want you to know that.

With the un-retouched images, the data doesn’t always show the ads bringing in more revenue for the company. What it does do, however, is sometimes worth more than cold, hard cash. Un-retouched advertisements can show honesty, authenticity, and empowerment. While specific ads may not show sales increased, over time, the positive messages that un-retouched images share will generate the increase in profits.

Even for companies that have never used retouched images from the beginning, some have not seen additional profit because of it. Why do they continue to hold fast to that policy? For a company to start from the beginning with un-retouched images, it shows their beliefs in the matter, and the fact that they celebrate all of their customer’s body types.

Success can be shown in other ways, such as increased social media engagement. With the influx of influencer marketing, increased revenue from social media campaigns over time can be harder to track that the data from one particular un-retouched advertisement.

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Danielle Kosanovich is a contributor for The Web Tribune, a brand manager for a marketing company, as well as the writer and photographer for her own blog. With a focus on lifestyle, travel, food, and overall wellness, she has been writing in some form for over a decade.