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Striking The Right Chord

Advertising aims to plunge consumers into an experience of the product that leaves them irrevocably convinced of its importance. Apart from various factors considered, the strangest one is a facet of human nature that advertising capitalizes on – the tendency to attach emotion even to inanimate objects. So much so that products and services displayed on screen, billboards, or blogs, can elicit in us a heartfelt reaction.

This said, knowing which chord to strike is tricky. A brand campaign could potentially backfire when the dice are rolled on multiple emotions. With the perfect campaign, comes a brand persona – personas that ultimately captivate us, the consumers. 

So, here’s looking under the different veils of ads that emote.

“Buy this now! Or else…”

Communicating to the audience that they need to be ultra-cautious about their health, or that their eventual downfall is inevitable, is a sure shot way to persuade consumers into purchasing a product. These approaches are taken by the health & sanitation, and insurance industries respectively.

Think about it. How many times have we neglected washing our hands and then imagined them to be full of miniscule black “germs”. Haven’t we all watched life insurance and health insurance ads and finally worried about our future even though a minute ago we had not even planned the next meal? There’s good reason for fear-based marketing – IT WORKS!

“Hey you! Here’s some #wanderlust!”

With all the travel goals in the world channelled through a one-minute ad, aviation advertisements tap into the intense FOMO felt by us. The Fear of Missing Out is very real, and when we see people on a plane journey, complete with every facility, we feel the process is as beautiful as the destination. A grown woman experiencing wonder like a fascinated little girl, overwhelmed by the clouds cushioning her comfortably luxurious flight, romanticises brilliantly the phenomenon of flight, something we take for granted in today’s times. We begin to long for the sky!

By showing us a montage of perfect travel experiences, these brands call for us to wake up to our aspirations and pursue them with a vengeance. After buying a ticket, that is!

“Is this how you think? Well, we’d like to change that.”

The fashion industry, in many cases, reaches out through life struggles that often go ignored. A girl nervously awaiting a visit from her girlfriend’s parents, beautifully showcases the normalcy of all sorts of relationships, and thereby attempts to destroy the taboos surrounding homosexuality. The initiative taken by a men’s corporate fashion line, to break stereotypes by representing role reversals in the family context, seems matter-of-fact on the surface, but is in fact a hard blow to current gender norms. These ads dare to speak about problems that we ourselves are silent on.

To aim for a change in perspective while selling something as basic as clothing, is an absolute masterstroke. In the fast-evolving fashion industry, everyone is racing to keep up with trends. Using this as an analogy for the need to shift mass mindset, is a deep yet simple way to pack a profitable, but meaningful punch.

 “We want you to have a taste of emotion.”

A touch of nostalgia, a pull of empathy, a call to inspire – ads can do a lot with simple stories. They reach into our childhood memories of lip smacking raw mango juice, they inspire us to scale great heights even when the universe seems against us, after downing a strong cup of coffee. They even elicit heart-warming feelings of brotherhood wrapped up in a bar of rich milk chocolate.

These snippets of emotion talk to us about much more than the brand or product. All while subtly telling us that it is the product itself that signifies such beauty, and therefore is a ‘must-buy’. Such strategies are commonly used in the food-and-beverage domain, of all places, where the range of products is so vast that the attempt to touch people’s hearts becomes hugely diverse.

Marketing a product or brand goes much beyond their functionality and services. It becomes a holistic approach to address the palate of emotions that consumers possess. And when the right notes are hit, the content is branded with the perfect melody.


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