When Drumcircle Talks About Emotions In Advertising, We’re Not Advocating for “Warm And Fuzzy”
(Quite The Contrary, We’re Promoting Cold-Eyed Precision).
Over the past decade or so, scads of research has been conducted proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that advertising based on emotional content pulls better, converts better, sells better, sticks better and just slap performs better than advertising based solely on rational features and benefits. Just type “emotions in advertising” into a search engine (once you’ve finished reading this, of course) and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of results (I just encountered a new “special report” on the subject and that’s what prompted me to write this).
Discarding the bottom 95% as general SEO gunk, you’ll still see a vast and deep array of information on this hot topic, all of which says pretty much the same two things:
1. Advertising built on emotional content outperforms advertising built on totally rational content in just about every way you can measure it.
2. As a marketer, you’re blowing it if you’re not building your marketing messages on a foundation of emotional appeal.
Unfortunately, very few of the books, reports, articles, commentaries, blogs and blurts that you’ll find in your search go on to explain just exactly what “emotional content” or “built on an emotional appeal” means.
“You want us to put puppies/kittens/babies in our ads? But we’re selling farm equipment/brokerage services/roofing nails!”
If you’re marketing pet food or baby clothes, then images of puppies, kittens and babies should probably have a significant role in your advertising. But, no, that’s not what we’re talking about when we at Drumcircle talk about emotions in advertising. What we’re talking about is using quantitative and qualitative research (our own, new, proprietary tools and techniques ) to gain an understanding of exactly what emotions motivate purchase decisions for your category, brand or product, and then using that insight to meticulously design advertising messages that will precisely tap those emotions.
Beyond emotion to Emotivation™
Most people who are up to date on the neuroscience of marketing accept the idea that peoples’ decisions are driven first by emotions and then post-rationalized with facts. A lot of people know this, but they’re not sure how to apply it to their own marketing challenges (this is especially true of marketers in “highly rational” business categories. A couple of years ago, a prospective client – a big financial services company – said to us “We’re going to hire you. But when you talk to our people outside the marketing team, please don’t talk about emotions. It just makes them tense”).
That’s one of the reasons we coined the term Emotivation; to draw a crystalline distinction between basic emotions (which can be sort of touchie-feelie, squishy and, frankly, a little scary) and the perceptual, intuitive forces that really motivate decisions and actions (which are, if you’re using our tools and techniques, clearly delineated, highly quantifiable and, when it comes to selling stuff, really, really useful).
At the risk of propagating more jargon, we call those perceptual, intuitive forces Emotivations.
Discovering and tapping Emotivations has helped Drumcircle’s clients, in both “rational “ categories (from farm equipment to pharmaceuticals) and more traditionally “emotional” ones (from soup to soda), to create more powerful, emotionally engaging advertising messages. And, so far, there’s not a puppy or a kittie in sight.