I work for an agency whose owner’s motto is, “hire smart people and get out of the way.” So, for my first foray into contributing content for Santy with little to no restrictions, I’ve pondered many options. Could I use the blog to cover the latest episode of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” or “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”? I suppose I’ll save those for Medium. Instead, I thought about one of the basic principles of advertising and that is the role of human emotion in a brand’s creative strategy.
Recently, I read an article on adage.com - “Why CX is the New Black,” which details how more and more emerging brands are foregoing traditional advertising tactics and focusing instead on customer experience (CX). As Kleinberg states in the article, “Good CX gives people positive opinions about your brand. Amazing CX gives people a reason to shout from the rooftops and Facebook walls about your brand.”
I think a lot of valid points are raised about the importance of customer experience and how to build brand loyalty. At Santy, we work with a number of CPG brands that have successfully incorporated amplification of CX in the marketing mix through the use of social influencers. We have found that these influencers can become brand ambassadors championing the brand at a fraction of a paid celebrity endorsement.
But we can’t run without first learning to walk. As marketers, we can’t rely on what the latest influencer is saying about your brand. What led them to try the brand? Call me old fashioned, but I am a firm believer that without an innovative creative execution in place a brand will not have the customers to experience it. Each day consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages and images via their phones, laptops, tablets, and televisions. Each of these messages are attempting to cut through the clutter and make an emotional connection so that the individual is willing to take the first step and learn more about the brand, with the ultimate goal of building and sustaining brand loyalty.
Being at home for the Thanksgiving holiday allowed me some time to spend in front of the TV and take a look at the current offerings of TV spots. There were some great ones, while there were some that had me wondering how in the heck they made it to broadcast.
So who did a good job and cut through the clutter? Well, based on my “focus group of one” I have to say I was impressed once again by the latest offerings from Apple. Yes I know they are easy to highlight, but they get it right. Apple clearly understands the importance of storytelling in an emotionally compelling method. They know that they have at the most 30 – 60 seconds to appeal to a potential consumer and tell their story.
How does a brand connect to the consumer with their creative offerings? In television spots, this can be through the story being told, the images or the music bed, or in Apple’s case, a well-blended combination of the three.
To understand my thought process, take some time and experience the following spots:
In each of these examples, Apple’s creative team could have taken the easy way out and structured the spots to highlight the features of their products. However they approached the creative assignment in a different manner, they unlocked the emotional benefits associated with their products.
Let’s be honest, since the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple knows that they are playing catch up to a number of their competitors, but I think they are ok with it. Why? Because that loyal fan base will continue to purchase. How did they become loyal? At some point each of them was drawn to or touched by one of Apple’s creative offerings.
An article published by Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, states, “Advertising research reveals that emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on a consumer’s reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials and 2-to-1 for print ads.”
So bottom line, “Yes” consumer experience (CX) is important, however without an emotionally engaging creative campaign associated with a brand, there is little chance for brand survival.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the holiday season. P.S Here is one more to get you in the holiday spirit, again courtesy of Apple:
Photo via Tim Gouw