Emotionally-engaging commercials

Last week, I listened to Dan Hill, expert on facial coding, speak on engaging radio commercials. The concept is fascinating.

Hill refers to a study which shows that emotionally-engaging commercials deliver 8 times the ROI than non-engaging commercials. Hill’s firm, Sensory Logic, utilizes facial coding research to prove that successful advertising (engaging) is driven by emotion. And being on-emotion is more important than being on-message. What a powerful concept.

Human beings are sensory emotional decision makers. The emotional response comes in 1/5th of the time the rational response does. Our job is to engage our target audience with positive emotion. We have the power to evoke emotion by triggering something in the brain that allows our audience to say “yes” or “no”.

The power of the visual to quickly communicate and create a mental picture is key. Hill reminds us that an emotional response is elicited within 3 seconds or less. This is no surprise since 1/2 of our brain is devoted to creating visuals for us.

Most of what Hill talks about is geared to radio advertising but I think the leap can easily be made to print, online communications and tv. Communication is the same, the media just differs. Color, visuals, photography, and copy all work in tandem to connect with that part of the brain that says, “Yes! This is about me. They understand me. I like it!” And a key point Hill makes is, our message should convey and build value. We should never lead with price.

This is timely as I will be watching Super Bowl commercials today. If you like them too, as you watch keep the following in mind:

Is the message geared to your target audiences level?

Is the message in its simplest form?

Is a branded solution used? Is the corporate and/or product name mentioned repeatedly?

Is it memorable?