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Stop making us feel sad. How tapping into our other emotions is the key to success


The success of Nike’s new ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ campaign is due the sense of pride it leaves us with.

It’s invigorating and, dare we say, inspiring. It’s emotional, but not annoying. And that’s why it works.

Emotions, rather than rationality are what drive consumers to buy into brands.

No, duh.

In a 2002 study, The Journal of Advertising Research concluded that “emotions are twice as important as ‘facts’ in the process by which people make buying decisions.”

We ‘Adobe-suite execs’ took that and ran with it.

Tug on the heartstrings hard enough, though, and you’ll eventually reach the end of the tether.

We’re all one Sarah McLachlan song away from lifting up our televisions, shuffling over to the nearest open window, and letting go.

The less dramatic might instead opt for switching the channel or scrolling past posts on Facebook, only to stop once again when they’ve landed on a video of a baby monkey riding on a pig.


People like to feel good. We’re hedonists, after all.

In his illuminating Ted Talk on How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions, Scott Galloway says,

“The greatest algorithm for shareholder creation from World War II to the advent of Google was taking an average product and appealing to people's hearts. You're a better a mom, a better person, a better patriot if you buy this average soap versus this average soap.”

And for a long time, brands were taking a crowbar to the floodgates in an attempt to push more product.

“Never in our collective memory has there been a time in which ads–whose purpose is to make people positively inclined toward a brand and, ultimately, to sell products–have left us feeling all the feels,” Rae Ann Fera writes for Fast Company.

“On the other hand, and in the wrong hands, indiscriminate dollops of wanton sentimentality can result in cloying, maudlin, or emotionally manipulative work that rolls eyes instead of warms hearts.”

We mustn’t forget, “A brand is nothing more than a mental representation of a product in the consumer’s mind,” says consumer psychologist Peter Noel Murray PhD.

We also mustn’t forget that people are smart, informed and living in a tumultuous political landscape. Being conscious of what’s going on societally matters more than ever, but we also have the power to switch off, or tune out when we see something we don’t like.

That’s why brands are ditching the gush for fresher, more pertinent messaging that touches the far corners of our emotional range.













And a little kindness courtesy of Drake:




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