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Guest Thinkers

Emotional Marketing

Good brand marketing is about getting the right emotional response from your target audience. You can get people to buy a product in many ways, but to get them to love it, you need to play to their emotions. 

Apple is one of the best in the world at this — all of their marketing is focused on making you believe that owning an apple product will make your life better.

Let’s examine one of their recent commercials focused on Facetime, a feature on the iPhone that lets two iPhone users video chat from their phones. 

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In this 120 second commercial, Apple uses a series of small vignettes that highlight people’s lives being fundamentally altered by Facetime.

  • A traveling businessman gets to see his young family back at home — making them all very, very happy.
  • A new graduate gets to show her grandparents her cap and gown — letting them share a special moment together, despite not being physically near.
  • Two friends trade advice and talk.
  • A soldier in a barracks can see the first sonogram of his child back home.
  • A deaf person can communicate with their significant other while traveling. This being not possible prior to apple’s invention.
  • The ad isn’t targeted at these demographics. It’s not touting a heavy list of new features. This ad is simply sharing a story that warms your heart. Even if you don’t leave the experience wanting an iPhone, you leave thinking of the iPhone as a product that improves people’s lives.

    That’s a powerful feeling to create in someone. Brands that create this feeling transcend the transactional relationship and become part of their customer’s identity. Apple, Audi, Leica, Sony, Muji, Kodak, and Porsche are all examples of this.

    It’s hard and expensive to create this type of brand, but it pays off. There’s a whole other post in analyzing The Significant Objects project, but tests found that simply creating back stories for projects made them resell for much more. Brand stories are valuable and most marketeers can shoehorn emotional efforts in to their marketing mix.

    Are you using emotional marketing in your programs? How?

    # Bonus

    Does that list of brands two paragraphs up look familiar? If so, you probably read Dave Morin’s defense of Path’s strategy on Launch. In it, he describes building a great, high quality brand as being one of their highest goals.

    Path is a startup focused on privately sharing experiences with your closest friends, and they’ve produced their first ad which does a great job of showcasing this type of emotional marketing. See “Nervous at home” below:


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