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Eyecatcher definition

Eyecatcher (© dragonstock /

Eyecatcher (© dragonstock /

The eyecatcher is a term that spans television, radio, web and other media, and of course, marketing and advertising. But what is an eyecatcher and how is it used in marketing? In this article, we’ll be looking at all of the different incarnations of the eyecatcher, including its use in other media, so that you can fully understand how it relates to marketing and what makes it so effective.

The Eyecatcher: A Simple Definition

If you want to break the term down to the simplest possible definition then an eyecatcher can be defined as something that catches the eye – either literally or metaphorically. That’s because the eyecatcher exists in radio as well as in print or video media. There are many types of eyecatchers out there, and we will cover many of them here so that you can see the variety of eyecatchers that can be used. This is both to educate those interested in the topic in general, and for teaching those involved in marketing and advertising how to use the eyecatcher in their own efforts.

Bumpers: Bumpers are used in radio and television – although mostly radio rather than TV in the United States.  They are sections of music, a visual holding presentation or any element that gets attention the way that they want. In talk radio, bumpers are often various pieces of music between the live sports and the commercial breaks.

Jingles/Liners: jingles and liners in radio – and television in other countries – can be bumpers as well. In radio, a jingle is often used before and after a weather forecast, in order to draw attention to that forecast, but another example of an eyecatcher is an ad block in radio that starts with a dry read of an ad by the current host. For example, it is quite common for morning show hosts to live read or play a prerecorded dry read of an ad first in an ad block, because people tune back in when they hear the deejay.

Design Elements: Design elements can also be eyecatchers. There are a number of design elements that are used in pictures, painting, and graphic design and even in real life that can be considered eyecatchers. All you have to do is look at visual elements and see where the painting is drawing your eye to.

Brand Logo: Another type of eyecatcher is the brand logo. A well-known brand logo is instantly recognizable, and when you place it on a visual element, the eye is automatically going to be drawn to it. That means that you can put your most important message next to the eyecatcher.

Unusual Image: Another technique that advertising executives use is just by including an image that doesn’t appear to belong there. For example, check out this Kit-Kat advertisement on the side of a semi-truck. Optical illusion advertising is one of the best ways to demonstrate this type of eyecatcher.

Social Media Profiles: Social media profiles are also great ways to draw the eye, since most people are familiar with social media logos. However, they are so commonplace now that they are not as effective as they were a few years ago.

Level Changes: Level changes are also considered an eyecatcher. A good example of this is when radio and television stations change the volume of a commercial break so that it is louder than the program that you were previously watching. This ensures that people are paying attention to the ads, although this has become less common as technologies improve and people are able to skip ads with their DVR.

Animation on Still Image: Finally, have you ever noticed how a moving GIF on a webpage draws your attention faster than anything else? That is done on purpose. When you have a still image and you had a moving image to it, the eye is going to be drawn to the moving image, and you can put your most important message in that area to make sure that people see it first.


There are many other eyecatchers out there, as the term is rather general and can refer to anything that catches your eye. The goal of this article isn’t to list all of the ways that your eye can be drawn for marketing and advertising purposes, but instead to demonstrate how important the technique is and that you should be using it if you are involved in the marketing world at all. Graphic designers, advertising executives, website designers and many more make use of this technique whenever possible.


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