Think back to your favorite advertisement. Chances are, it is your favorite because it made you laugh out loud, cry, or feel empathy for the person or people in the ad.
Emotions are powerful. Research has proven that having an emotional response causes the brain to archive that memory as important. That’s why savvy marketers use emotion to connect with their audience. They want to lock their brand into the memory of those who have viewed the ad.
Here are four tips for helping elicit an emotional response in your target audience, so it’s remembered.
Use humor where appropriate.
Humor is something that can hurt a brand if not used appropriately. Depending on your industry, humor can humanize your actions and make you more relatable. Outtakes are a great example of using humor to connect people to a brand. We all mess up. That’s what makes us human. Tell a believable story, giving the nod to life’s little ups and downs. Think about it: the best jokes from successful comedians are relatable.
People can tell when they are being B.S.’d. But they resonate with brands that highlight real-life experiences. At MindStream Creative, we won a few advertising awards for a series of ads that featured people struggling without their glasses. One person thought a shark was a dolphin and continued to get closer to it. Another used hemorrhoid cream instead of toothpaste when brushing their teeth after waking – hey, similar tubes. Another sat down with the wrong family at the beach after exiting the water. If you wear (or have worn) glasses or contacts, you can sympathize with the person struggling. The ads were for LASIK surgery, and the point was to highlight that these struggles don’t have to be your reality anymore. If you can make people laugh because they’ve done a similar thing – and those people can connect what you’re selling with the emotion you just triggered, you’ve won.
Inspiration is a powerful emotional response that causes a person to think differently. Nike did a great job with this by using athletes of all types accomplishing their goals. Life is a struggle. If you can connect people with overcoming struggle and adversity to reach or exceed a goal in a very authentic way, you may inspire them to want to try too. One example is overcoming pain or an injury. Let the audience see a person’s struggles and the perseverance required to reach their goal. Highlight the frustrations felt when setbacks happen. Setbacks are a part of life and are relatable. In this example, the brand can highlight how they supported the person through this process and how they became a member of their winning team.
Play to the local vibe.
Most people love where they live. Here in Bend, Oregon, we’re an outdoor mecca with many opportunities to play outdoors. The lifestyle is a part of why people live in an area so far away from larger cities. Highlighting local scenery and the community vibe can elicit a connection with a brand and its location. This is especially important for small businesses. Showcase how you’re local and a part of the community. National and even regional brands can’t compete with the local small business committed to supporting their community.