A few weeks back, I wrote that an advertising message could be either factual or emotional. An ad is either
- Changing peoples’ minds by giving them new information in order to make a new decision, or
- Changing the way people feel about the information they already know
I also said that the smartest bet was to combine the two approaches: give them new information AND change the way they feel about it.
And a few people asked why: if you've got the facts, why risk an emotional approach, too?
The answer involves one of the hardest things that business owners have to accept if they want to be successful in advertising:
Just because it’s the truth, doesn't mean anyone is required to believe it.
If you want to persuade with the truth, you have to get people to realize it for themselves. It has to become their truth, not just the truth.
More to the point, if you want people not only to believe your facts, but to ACT on them, you've got to provide the additional amperage of emotion.
So how do you do that? How do you add emotion to facts?
- Add context: what do the facts mean. Go from feature to benefits. What do the facts mean in terms of the prospects life?
- Speculate about motivation. “Add insult to injury” is a phrase for a reason: the fact that someone did something is made more potent with intention, and despite the phrase, this works on both the positive (for you) and the negative (for the competition)
- Tie the facts to self image. What do these facts mean to how the prospect will see themselves. How does it change their status?
- Think Symbolically. This is the surest way to effectively make a mountain out of a molehill. Take the fact you have and romanticize it. Don’t make it bigger through hype, make it bigger through sentiment and symbolism.
If these steps sound hard, that’s because they ARE hard, in many cases. This is often the art of advertising, so it’s not a paint-by-numbers kind of thing.
And that’s why it helps to hire a professional.
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner