I've just finished a really fun Zoom call with an agency owner where for a large proportion we discussed the importance of creating emotions in advertising. We both agreed that in this age where there's an obsession with data, the art of creating an emotional response has been lost... unless of course you're working for the Daily Mail, in which case you spout fear, anger and hatred on a daily basis.
That's why I thought I'd share some tips on how to create emotional responses and showcase the impact that focusing on an emotion can have on your messaging. Oh, and for those of you wondering what the image has to do with this post, it's a scene from Blade Runner's Voight-Kampff test, a test which measured bodily functions such as respiration, heart rate, blushing and eye movement in response to emotionally provocative questions. Yes, I know I'm a geek!
Before we begin, let's understand a little more about the power of emotions.
Information drives analysis
Emotions drive action
When it comes to selling anything, creating an emotional response is key to getting the sale. Let's take a car. You might think that features such as air conditioning, hybrid engine and sat nav are the things that will convince people to buy, but these are merely just hygiene factors. They are a tick list in someone's requirements. How happy they will feel driving the car, how envious they know people will be when they see it in their drive... these are the things to communicate either in writing or visually that will convince people to part with their hard-earned.
A great place to start when understanding emotions is the Plutchik Wheel of Emotions. It shows there are 8 basic primary emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust. Then there are combination emotions, for example anticipation and joy combine to be optimism and of course there is intensity of emotions, so the emotions intensify as they move from the outside to the centre of the wheel.
I won't explore this wheel any further, but I encourage you to go and explore it further if you truly want to understand emotions and how to use them effectively in your writing.
Let me show you the effect of emotions in some simple messaging.
Last year I undertook a project with a client where I showed them the power of emotions in their key messaging on a range of products. Here's a breakdown from one of the products I explored for them to show to you how emotions change the message and resonate with an audience.
Below is a seven day travel ticket. One price is paid and you can travel for seven days. Take a look at how by applying an emotion, it changes the message:
Getting to work costs less than you think with our weekly ticket.
If you don’t buy a weekly ticket, getting to work will cost you more.
Have more to spend on yourself at the weekend, when you buy a weekly ticket to get to work.
Imagine going to work every day knowing everyone else onboard has paid a lot less for the same journey. That’s why you need a weekly ticket.
These are just some basic examples of how by applying an emotion you can alter how you write and the message. It's a technique that doesn't just work in the B2C world, it also works in B2B, customer services and even recruitment, as shown below:
You’ll head home every day, pleased with knowing you’ve helped people in the local community.
You’ll play a key part in helping us engage and assist the people in the local community.
Be one of those people who really loves their job. Thanks to the satisfaction you get from helping people in your local community.
We’d love you to join us, and help us deliver the very best customer service to the people in your local community.
When looking at any kind of copy, whether it be key messages, emails, letters, radio or TV scripts. Think about the emotion you'd like to create in the audience you are targeting - humour/laughter is a great place to start as making people smile is never a bad thing.
If you'd like to explore how you can add emotions in your written communications, give me a call on 07515 053 915 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org