Emotional Targeting Examples:
Now the fun stuff, emotional targeting examples! Let’s take a look at how some brands have used emotion to get their customers to love them and buy into their product as a result.
Momondo and “The DNA Journey” video:
You might cry if you watch this video. It touches on feelings of identity, racism, hatred, sadness, shock and acceptance.
But who on earth is momondo? A DNA testing company? Nope. It’s a travel booking website.
What does “The DNA Journey” video do for their marketing then? Emotion!
This company got together a crowd of diverse humans and asked them to identify themselves based on race. But you know what? The idea of race is becoming a thing of the past with DNA testing these days. And DNA tests proved that for these participants.
After this group got their shocking DNA results, they were sent off to travel the world to discover their diverse ancestry.
Now, after seeing this, don’t you feel that you must travel. Or, at least that travel is important because it can help you learn who you are? And if people travel, won’t that make us more accepting of all humans? Can we get world peace that way?
Go to the company’s home page and you WON’T see a headline that says “cheapest flights on sale now.”
But you WILL see a headline that says:
“The Value of Travelling
76% say travel has made them embrace diversity”
And after that, a button to see their “global study.” Say WHAAAAT?! Momondo are you telling us you’re betting a conversion action on people reading your “global study”? You bet they are. Because this is them investing in their story like Joanna said to do in her video above.
After the emotional target, you see the flight search form. So they haven’t completely fallen off their rockers.
Momondo’s ‘cause’ is to “embrace diversity,” and they do that by helping people learn about their ancestry. So they sell flight booking services.
This ad was not about why they’re the best website to book a flight on. That game can’t be won anymore with the myriad of travel sites, travel comparison sites, travel comparison, comparison sites, and so on.
So they went with emotion-based marketing. Smart.
The KLM Lost & Found service
This video has over 22 million views on YouTube. You can’t watch this without getting the warm and fuzzies over the cuteness of their company’s “real asset,” as described by one employee. Okay, I’ll spill the beans: it’s a dog!
Now, I know this example breaks the rules a little bit because they are explaining the ‘how’ and not the ‘why’ here. But you also can’t deny there is A LOT of emotion in this video. And, it holds the purpose of perpetuating the feeling of ‘happy’ you get when you think of the KLM brand.
I just wonder how many people purposely leave things on their planes so the doggy will come bring it to them!
Extra Gum and “The Story of Sarah & Juan”
Here is another heart-warming chick-flick-style commercial about something you think has nothing to do with product sales. But then, with a plot twist at the end, it totally does! However, by that point, you’re so in love with Sarah and Juan’s story that you’ll buy Extra Gum just to get those love hormones rushing through your brain again! Ok, maybe not that extreme, but you get the point.
Here is the video on YouTube.
Do you get the connection? He saved the wrappers! Cuz you need fresh breath for those lovey-dubby moments, which is what gum is for…get it?
Notice how the Extra brand did NOT make a commercial, or even a start a dialogue about how the gum gives you fresh breath, or any reason you should buy it. They let the emotion-bearing story do that for them.
HelloFlo and First Moon Party
Ok, get ready to laugh yourself to bits with this video.
Talking about emotional triggers, any woman who watches this video will get instant flashbacks to their teenage years when “first, Jenny got it. Then stupid Vicky got it.” And then the subsequent flashbacks to their mom making the announcement to everyone she knows.
So, calming yourself down after watching that commercial, let’s take a look at their website to see what they actually sell. Cuz, it ain’t funny videos about getting your first period just to make you emote happiness today.
Oh wait, what DO they sell? Well at first glance, it looks like “femspiration” and a bunch of human-relatable stories. A large portion of their home page real estate is about the ‘why’ of what they do – not the how, or the what. Amazing!
Notice that “Shop” is the LAST link on their menu? And, their product kits get buried amidst their valuable content, which is there to help you solve your ‘feminine problems.’ Clearly, they know their brand persona, they know their audience’s psychological triggers, and they know their ‘why.’
Poo~Pourri and the Story of Poo~Pourri
You may remember the Poo~Pourri video that went viral called, “Girls Don’t Poop.” That’s not the example we’ll explore here, though it is a good one to check out for more laughs.
Instead, let’s take a look at the company’s use of storytelling to capture their audience with this video.
The company is authentic as authentic can be – what’s more authentic than talking about poo? Even the names of their scents are sometimes a play on words about poo (“Trap-A-Crap,” “No. 2” and “Deja Poo” included).
So now, they carry that concept of authenticity forward by telling their story honestly. There is no holding back. They even confess the owner’s failures along her way to poo-smell-eliminating success. She briefly, and comically, exposes her past business ideas gone bad, marriage gone wrong, and a job she hated.
What can make you relate to another human being more than knowing they are no better than you? Better yet, that they have experienced the same rotten things that everyone else goes through, but no one likes to talk about?
It’s inspiring to watch someone make it to success because they worked hard, made mistakes along the way, learned from those mistakes, and now get what they truly deserve: happiness in life.
Don’t you want to buy some Poo~Pourri now? Go on, support a person (not just a company) who deserves it, because she’s just like you, and she can laugh about it all now.
For more on how flaws can benefit your brand if you treat them with transparency, check out this article:
Why Your Perfect Content May Actually Hurt Your Brand
Sophie the Giraffe
This one can stump you. And it’s not a company that intentionally launches emotional targeting campaigns. But the product success itself is based on emotional decision making.
Sophie the Giraffe is a rubber teething toy that squeaks. I’d love to tell you its amazing features, but I don’t think there are that many (though this boring video will tell you otherwise). Do you know what this toy retails for? $25 – $30. Yes, it’s true. And yes, it’s just a rubber toy.
But to the purchasers of this product, it’s so much more. According to the 50-year-old, award-winning, all-natural, French toy’s website, “Sophie la girafe is timeless and intergenerational.”
I mean, how can you resist not giving your baby the toy that has sold more units than there are babies in France? Or that all your friends’ babies have because Kate Hudson’s kid was spotted with one? And not just Kate Hudson. There is an entire gallery on this company’s website of paparazzi photos spotting Sophie the Giraffe.
This is where the emotions of envy, wanting to belong, and status come into play. Actually, the LA Times article on this toy literally calls it a “status teether.” And, as a Slate article describes it, a “French-made teether has a certain cachet.”
When people do try to explain why they love Sophie, most of the time you’ll hear mysterious answers. For example, its USA importer said, “It’s her face. There’s something magical about it.” So, the more Sophie’s fans talk, the more you believe her main selling point is that everyone else has one. I mean, the toy has its own Instagram account with over 8,000 Sophie converts (uh, I mean ‘followers’) to exemplify this.
Emotion at play, people.
Now, isn’t this the reason we buy into any over-priced brands? We’re not strangers to emotion-based marketing after all: we fall for it all the time. We just get shocked when we don’t expect it, like with a rubber toy that people buy on Amazon or add to their online gift registry.
(Just to give Sophie some credit here, I have to say I’ve seen her in action, and she IS pretty amazing.)
To conclude: here is what we’ve learned about emotion-based marketing
Let’s summarize what we’ve learned in this article on emotional targeting for online conversions:
- Emotional marketing is believed to be effective because of scientific studies supporting its premises.
- Humans make emotional decisions, and thus appealing to people’s emotional triggers while conducting marketing campaigns (in an ethical way), can help achieve company goals.
- To start with emotional marketing, it’s helpful to understand how it is measured. Measuring is based on a combination of first, qualitative research, and then, quantitative tests.
- It is important to know your brand, your message, and your identity before you begin emotional marketing, to ensure it will resonate with the audience you want to impact.
- Use Simon Sinek’s “golden circle” and “start with why” to define your beliefs, and thus the emotional impact you’ll have on your target customer.
- Use Joanna Lord’s advice and “invest in your story.” Watch those videos!
- Be realistic and stay logical with your campaign. Don’t stretch the truth when trying to appeal to people’s emotions in advertisements.
- Companies today are employing emotional marketing in several interesting ways. Use them for inspiration!
‘Nike Guy’ really loves Nike. You want ‘Nike Guy’ to love your brand as much as he loves Nike.
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