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the advertised brand: emotion and response (continued)

January 6, 2016









We have been discussing the importance of understanding the relationship between value, emotion, and response as it relates to marketing and promotional advertising. Our marketing efforts become the foundation that presents the value of the brand.

For these efforts to have a favorable acceptance, an equally favorable emotional connection must be established. This opens the opportunity to present the factual claims of my service and product offerings through promotional advertising.

Although behavioral science is rich with heavy discussion on the topic, the basic process can be illustrated fairly simply. Please pardon the blatant abuse of alliteration in the following.


My day is in gear. From the moment the alarm presents the first interruption of my day, I am moving. Even at rest, my mind is constantly engaged, processing. There is always more than I can possibly take in, yet the stream of sights, sounds, smells, faces, and voices continue its torrent around me.

Yes, I’m used to this. At some early point in my life, this became normal. I became too involved to notice I was too involved. Just try to get my attention. I dare you! If you happen to succeed, it better be good, because if it’s not, the only impression you’ll be making is a negative one. Just know this, I remember negative impressions long after the details have faded.

All advertising at its most fundamental level is designed to be an interruption. No one appreciates being interrupted. This pair of statements appear to present a classic conundrum, but not necessarily so. Consider this example, your spouse is flustered in trying to focus on four competing concerns. The effort has already caused his or her mind to shut down, and now there is just a flurry of frustrated energy being wasted. What to do?

You move in closer, reach an understanding arm around your loved one, and say, “Let me help, we can make this work.” Through the purposeful effort of opening an emotional connection, your interruption has a much better chance of acceptance, than simply blurting out some factual guidance on how to deal with the frustration.

Promotional advertising that ignores the fact that it is basically an unwelcome interruption is missing a great opportunity. We all need interruptions throughout the day to help us refocus and make timely value judgments. The point is how we interrupt, and the value that interruption presents.


That is, purposely make a favorable impression upon the feelings. This is marketing’s role in taking the organization’s story and purpose (brand) and associating it in ever evolving ways that speak directly to the public’s emotional intelligence. The intended result is a personal connection, allowing the advertised message to be more favorably received.


That is, educate the public of the factual claims, benefits, and superior nature of the product or service. This is the advertiser’s role in building upon the brand’s personal message, offering a rational claim that is designed to elicit a reasonable response.


This is where the deal is sealed. Marketing and advertising work together with a simple goal in sight, influence a decision. Regardless of the size of the transaction, the decision to make a purchase is a personal act. The customer needs both to feel good about the decision, as well as have the intellectual satisfaction that it involved a rational choice based on the information reviewed.

Marketing leverages the organization’s branding to influence the emotion’s role in the customer’s response. Advertising, then builds upon that influence by providing essential factual info to add the tangible substance necessary to lead to a rational response.

Returning for a moment to the advertised message example used in a previous post, we can clearly see this process illustrated.

“You can make a straight cut with any saw. What it comes down to is this: Which brand do you trust? When safety, job performance and reliability are considered, there are very few real choices. You already know which one you choose.”

The emotional connection the customer had with the brand was the deciding factor when comparison-shopping for a saw. When rationally comparing the features and claims of the competition, the customer’s previously influenced bias led to a quick decision. It was worth the extra $5 for the personal satisfaction that the best choice was made.

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