“Read our earlier post on manifesting brand empathy.”
It’s not very often you have a stranger offering you a genuine smile. But, if you do, the chance of you returning the smile is pretty high. In that moment of giving and receiving, however brief and slight, an emotional connectedness is formed. Online creative content creation revolves around this basic principle – to engender an emotive state.
In the online space, the emotions of a community member influence the emotions of others. Online content creation aims to replicate the affective character of a smile manifold to bring about the emergence of collective emotions, and marketing harness collective emotions repeatedly to bring about desired campaign outcomes.
Let’s find out what are some key principles to consider!
1. Find the right ways to motivate your audience
Humans’ emotions can generally be classified by these ways – pleasant vs. unpleasant, and excited vs. calm. Research has shown that the level of motivation, rather than the experience of positive or negative emotions, has a greater effect to move a person to complete a desired goal.
For example, imagine your audience watching two videos – funny clips of dogs (bringing out low motivational intensity and yummy cakes (triggering high motivational intensity). Although both evoke positive emotions, the dog video is merely amusing, whereas the cake video narrows the person’s attention to act on the target stimulus.
Hence, it is important to know your final audience and find the right ways to motivate them. This process often involves user research to identify a set of needs or desires that drives your audience to act, and then create the trigger(s) that will activate the need or desire.
2. Effective content/ visuals intensify the emotional response
Ads and campaigns that use emotion perform twice as well as those that don’t. Today’s consumers are also incredibly busy and more sophisticated. They are also being confronted with a multitude of content. Run-of-the-mill advertisements with a catchy jingle and fancy looking people are not in trend. Anymore.
As the online space becomes overpopulated, brands have to look to unique and impactful ways to speak emotions in their creative content. Here are a few ideas to explore:
- Make the ordinary extraordinary : By showing their bottles “in the wild”, Absolut made its bottle the most recognisable in the world, and its many different ads of one single bottle was so successful that it ran for more than 20 years.
- Make a social statement : Special Olympics launched the School of Strength fitness campaign, with its content focusing on encouraging all athletes, including those with intellectual disabilities to commit to a lifetime of fitness habits
- Be inspirational : AT&T created a series of ads for its business services that focus on individuals and values rather than its products and services. Instead of promoting AT&T, the company chooses to associate itself with desirable qualities and interesting people who have overcome the odds.When it comes to powerful commercials, Nike comes to mind. In showcasing women athletes defying all odds to accomplish, Nike and Serena Williams advocate female empowerment with Nike’s new slogan “Dream Crazier”, and show people what crazy can do.
- Break conventions : Japanese Kenzo fragrance and Indie film director Spike Jonze teamed up in an unusual collaboration. The ad started with a beautiful but bored woman at a black-tie dinner. She sneaked out into an empty hall and moved violently with kicks, twirls and punches to a debauched dance. In short, not what you would expect from a perfume ad.There are a wide range of emotions you can appeal to to create an effective message. The key is to remember that today’s audience does not fancy a sales pitch. They want to be moved, inspired, amused or wowed. So, keep the product and brand hovering the background.
3. Your customer is the Hero
It’s not about your brand or your topic. Good emotive storytelling should place your customers as the hero in the story, and the product/ your company should be framed to help your hero achieve his or her goal, or solve his or her problems. Remember you are not the star. To relate to that core issue requires having empathy. Wondering how to do? Read our earlier post (link to previous post) on manifesting brand empathy.
Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist concluded “We are not thinking machines. We are feeling machines that think”. Emotions are fundamental to good storytelling. Stories define the world we live in, the way we relate to, connect with and understand the world around us. We are more than happy to help create that personal touch so that you can connect with your audience on an emotional level that is hard to ignore. Let’s up the ante on emotive dynamics!