PART #1: Why Do Feelings Matter in Advertising?
Like all great stories, at the heart of successful advertising campaigns lies in humanity, deep humanity. It’s scientifically proven that buyers make purchases based on emotions; not reason. Brands that compel buyers to feel break through the noise. We at Front Runner Films like to make people feel, to think about what it means to love, and to think about what it means to be human.
Emotional branding works for two reasons: the nature of today’s shifting economy, and the neuroscience of human decision making.
The Creative Economy
We no longer live in the industrial era where people happily lived with only the very basic items they needed to survive, and where only one or two companies offered a widely needed product or service. Today, everything for sale on the market must compete with dozens of other brands that offer a product or service just like it, including items a buyer already owns.
Instead of purchasing based on the features or specifications of a product, buyers today purchase based on how a brand makes them feel. In fact, retailers have noticed a terrifying trend for anyone in the business of selling physical products: shoppers are more interested in paying for experiences than anything else.
In a Wall Street Journal Article titled, “So Long, Supply and Demand” economist Thomas Petzinger Jr. states,
“Creativity is overtaking capital as the principal elixir of growth. And creativity, although precious, shares few of the constraints that limit the range and availability of capital and physical goods. In this new business atmosphere, ideas are money. Ideas are, in fact, a new kind of currency altogether — one that is more powerful than money. One single idea — especially if it involves a great brand concept — can change a company’s entire future.”
We’re living in an economic climate where the emotional identity of a brand isn’t part of business, it is the business.
Emotions Drive Decision Making
In a study conducted by neuroscientist Antonio Demasio at USC, it was discovered that without insight into how they felt, people with brain damage couldn’t make decisions despite having factual information about the options available to them. It was later discovered with an FMRI neuro-imagery machine that when buyers evaluate which brand to choose when shopping, they reference their personal feelings and experiences rather than data about an item’s features or attributes. The study concluded that people make decisions based on emotions, and then justify their choices rationally.
So then how exactly do brands inspire purchases by making people feel? By telling stories. Heartfelt, humorous, and awe-inspiring stories. That all starts with one question: How do you want your brand to make people feel?
In this series of articles, we will discuss the most successful ways to employ humorous, heartfelt, and awe-inspiring advertising techniques that make people feel.
Stay tuned every Wednesday for the latest in the series.