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Interactive infographics or just Advertising?

The use of visualization for promotional purposes remains a controversial issue

January 27, 2015

Few things are sure to make the blood of a visual journalist “boil” like the use of the term “infographic” to characterize advertising and promotional pieces such as the ones we see everyday being published in infographic galleries all over the Internet.

And yet, despite the “obvious-sometimes-not-so-obvious” differences between a journalistic piece and a promotional one, both areas, Marketing and Journalism, have a lot to gain in using visualization. If the audience is set and the purpose of the piece is clearly promotional, and not intended to pass the numbers eventually stated in that piece as “facts”, is there really a reason why agencies and companies in general shouldn’t be using them? Isn’t this growing market a valid alternative to those dying newsrooms that – go figure – let go (usually first) their most talented visual journalists?

We picked several examples of promotional pieces that were shared with us in 2014, most of them published by organizations and companies that have no journalistic mission whatsoever. And we’ll let you judge that for yourself:

The ultimate sleep at Devil’s Mountain | Ibis Hotels

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic The ultimate sleep at Devil's Mountain
(image: Ibis Hotels)

Top 5 Computer Viruses Of All Time | Norton

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Top 5 Computer Viruses Of All Time
(image: Norton)

GitHub Octoverse 2013 | GitHub

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic GitHub Octoverse 2013
(image: GitHub)

Hungry Tech Giants | Simply Business

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Hungry Tech Giants
(image: Simply Business)

Turning a Profit | WorldPay Zync

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Turning a Profit
(image: WorldPay Zync)

The Vocal ranges of the world’s greatest singers | Concert Hotels

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic The Vocal ranges of the world's greatest singers
(image: Concert Hotels)

Ultimate Marvel 75 years

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Ultimate Marvel 75 years
(image: Ultimate Marvel 75 years)

Yelp Trends | Yelp

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Yelp Trends
(image: Yelp)

Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Tracker | Nielsen

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Nielsen's Global Consumer Confidence Tracker
(image: Nielsen)

Growing hope | MSNBC

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Growing hope
(image: MSNBC)

(Via Periscopic)

Periodic Table of Elements | Google

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Periodic Table of Elements
(image: Google)

Music Timeline | Google

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic Music Timeline
(image: Google)

We Feel | CSIRO and The Black Dog Institute

Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic We Feel
(image: CSIRO and The Black Dog Institute)

 

Have more recent examples to add to the list? Let us know on Twitter (@visualoop)

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.

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