They told us the revolution wouldn’t be televised, but when it came to the emotional revolution in advertising and marketing, they lied. Because that’s exactly where the revolution happened as somewhere between the quintessentially British stiff upper lip and the iconic Samsung ads, consumers lost their shi*t for emotional storytelling. Gone were the old school ‘don’t show any emotion’ naysayers, replaced instead with brands who understood that the way into the wallets of consumers was directly through their heart.
The trend of emotional advertising has only gone from strength to strength as brands spend as much of their marketing budgets as they can humanizing themselves. There is the understanding that people no longer want a cold, robotic brand to service them their every need. The hard sell is gone. Replaced by soft edges, warm stories and the tears of avid consumers.
Arguably there is no one who does this better than Samsung whose Hearing Hands advert became an overnight viral success as you could quite audibly hear potential customers choking up. They followed it up a few years later with their most recent We’ll Take Care Of You four minute film that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. They’re telling their customers stories, and often these customers are underrepresented without a voice, and in doing so Samsung becomes the hero in this particular tale. And a human one at that.
Admittedly, not every brand has the marketing budget of giants, and not every brand needs a four-minute film that will make you want to reach out to every person you’ve ever loved. Sometimes, and often, it is the small inconsequential things that make us human. The quirks and habits as well as the odd behavior. For example, the farmers over at the Happy Egg Company sing to their chickens. That’s not even an exaggeration from us, and we’re good friends with those guys so we have it on good authority. Their ad campaigns all center around providing happy and playful environments for their chickens so that they lay tasty eggs. Because naturally happy things are tastier things. It’s a small emotional point, but highlighting it provides a human story behind their brand name, and it’s those human connections consumers are craving these days.
And they’re craving them at every single touchpoint and so the real challenge for brands, especially within the retail space these days, is to convey those small emotional touches consistently throughout the consumer journey.
Naturally, there is some debate about the moral implications of manipulating emotions when trying to shift a product or service, and there may be some valid points floating around out there. Which is why coupling a cognitive message with emotional touches will always be the saving grace for any brand looking to excel and connect with consumers in the market place. It is not enough to be heavily emotional without substance behind it, and nor is it okay to be overly ‘professional’ without adding elements of humanity to your brand.
Above all, it’s important to recognize that this isn’t a difficult thing to achieve. This humanness that brands are striving to achieve is far easier than keeping everything locked away behind the veneer of corporate ‘professionalism.’ The revolution has arrived my friends. It’s here and thriving and it’s time to start getting emotional.