As marketers, we often talk about creating an emotional connection with our audience. This is obviously important because we know action and decision making are most strongly linked to emotion, rather than rational or analytical thought.
While this is somewhat oversimplified, your brain is generally divided into two main parts, rational and emotional. The rational side is what connects with information like facts, figures and statistics. New information is useful but it isn’t always the strongest driver of action and decision making. That comes from a deeper place, the emotional side. When an image or idea connects with this part of the brain, strong connections are formed and people are more likely to click, like, share or buy. So how do you create these connections on places like Facebook?
One possible answer comes from the show Mad Men. I’m admittedly late to watching it, but luckily I’ve been able to avoid spoilers and thanks to Netflix I can get caught up. The show revolves around an ad agency in New York City and more specifically the character Don Draper, a WWII veteran who is the company’s creative mastermind. One scene from the show is especially useful for this discussion. Watch it below.
New is the Most Important Idea
The first thing Draper highlights in the importance of promising something new. He says, “New creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion.” While humans like to seek out the familiar, we are also drawn to innovation and improvement. We also want to share new things with those around us.
The Power of Memory
Draper then pitches the value of memory, referring specifically to the term nostalgia. He says in Greek the term means “a pain in your heart from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone . . . It takes us to a place where we ache to go again”.
Draper is putting his finger on an important point. Speaking to your audience’s stored memories creates strong bonds. They will then associate the emotions that accompany those memories to your company. You’ve probably experienced this yourself watching a TV advertisement that struck a particular chord. Everyone has memories that are tied to strong emotions, and when those memories are dug up it often leads to action.
If you focus simply on facts and statistics you will come across as informative but little more than that. Those facts will likely be forgotten as new information is constantly flooding out brains. But hitting an emotional soft spot can leave a lasting impression, one that doesn’t fade with the glittery lures of the information age.