Has the marketing world finally caught on to the importance of emotion in advertising and branding? I’ve read a flurry of articles recently, and finally in the mainstream marketing press, discussing the importance of leveraging emotions.
This is a topic that TapestryWorks have been discussing for a long time, although we can’t claim to be the first. Many have seen their importance, since the beginning of the advertising and market research industries, although the argument was buried for decades by models of ‘persuasion’ that permeated the rational minds of big business. Read more »
Many of our intuitions about behaviour are now being confirmed by some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology. Although market research is making great strides to incorporate this new understanding of the mind, there is a long way to go. Much marketing and market research practice continues to hold tightly to the belief that decision-making is rational. Which leads to three key questions for marketing:
- How important are emotions in advertising?
- How do we all really make decisions?
- How can we leverage emotional signals in marketing? Read more »
For those who want to understand how to make their marketing campaigns effective, there is no better read than The Long and the Short of It by Les Binet and Peter Field last year. The 80 page booklet is a clear and easy to read summary of a high amount of analysis, covering almost 1,000 campaigns and 700 brands across 80 categories over 30 years (although the focus is on the last 10-12 years). Their analysis can be summarised by the Peter Drucker quotation they use on the first page of the report, “Long-term results cannot be achieved by piling short-term results on short-term results.”
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Learning and applying the principles of behavioural economics and the mental shortcuts or biases which we are all prone to can be bewildering and frustrating. When I checked on Wikipedia, there are 173 pages relating to biases of judgement and decision making, including long lists of decision making, belief and behavioural biases, social biases, and memory errors (link below). Similarly, The Visual Guide to Cognitive Biases by the Royal Society for Account Planners (worth reading, link below) lists over 100 different biases. Surely there must be some key principles to these?
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“Though experience be our only guide in reasoning concerning matters of fact; it must be acknowledged, that this guide is not altogether infallible, but in some cases is apt to lead us into errors.” - David Hume
“The invalid assumption that correlation implies cause is probably among the two or three most serious and common errors of human reasoning.” - Stephen Jay Gould Read more »
“Who are you going to believe: me or your own eyes?” - Groucho Marx
In About Face, Dan Hill makes a clear and compelling argument for the use of emotion in advertising and it’s power to drive changes in behaviour. The book is full of useful examples and anecdotes and some statistics too. In one study by Omnicom, emotional engagement with customers resulted in 20% higher return on investment than mere awareness in advertising. In another review by Pringle and Field (based on 880 case studies from the UK’s Institute of Practitioners Advertising Effectiveness Awards), ‘soft sell’ ads that inspire strong emotional responses in their audience make more money (almost twice as much as ‘hard sell’ ads with more fact-based and rational arguments). And more emotional ads also reduced price sensitivity, created greater differentiation and were more important in more mature markets. Read more »
“Our minds are like our stomachs: they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetites.” - Quintilian
“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” - Fran Lebowitz
Foodtrotter’s recent post on world food trends has some great insights into new trends in food and drink around the world, and most of them are relevant in Asia too (based on my recent experiences), so here is a quick summary. Read more »
Many people today still believe in ghosts. Some people also believe that the mind, and even a soul, exists separately from the brain. The ‘social sciences’ and humanities often still hold that people are born as ‘blank slates’ ready to be molded by society. They cling to romantic notions of the “noble savage”, primitive hunter gatherer societies unfettered by violence or sexism. The truth is that science has over the last ten to twenty years shown much of this to be “poppycock” (senseless nonsense).
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The need for engagement in all areas of business and marketing continues to grow in importance.
For employee motivation, Dan Pink, has recently highlighted the need for business to catch up with scientific understanding. Carrots and sticks, Pink argues, are so last century. Carrots and sticks actually distract us from all but the most mundane tasks. They make work feel like work, worse still they encourage dishonesty and short term thinking. The hold that traditional economics and behaviorism has had in management maybe waning.
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Did you know that in American culture
- Seduction is manipulation
- Being fat means you’ve checked out
- Work is who you are
- Money is proof
- Shopping is reconnecting with life
Clotaire Rapaille writes about his last 30 years of work spent unlocking various “culture codes” in his book The Culture Code. His book contains many insights about the various reference systems that are put in place for all of us at an early age. By discovering the subconscious emotional attachments we have to various concepts and brands, he’s been able to illuminate the frames that surround these concepts.
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