So you want a video to promote your brand? Cool. It should highlight all the technical details and how well the brand works? You’d think so, but maybe not.
Humor me for a second.
You walk into the pet store. The plan… to go home with a new friend, but you’re not sure what. Rationally, a cat would be a good choice; they’re clean, independent and easy to care for. You walk towards the feline section when suddenly, a poster catches your eye. The caption reads, “The Perfect Pet!.” You’re intrigued, not because the tiny animal is cute (even though it is… extremely) but because the man in the poster is surrounded by adoring friends, all excited about the new pet. Suddenly, you’re daydreaming. Beautiful women kiss little Billy (you named him Billy), then they kiss you. You’re best mates give you high fives and pats on the back as the scratch adoringly under Billy’s chin. In your mind, he’s already yours. And with that, you skip merrily out the pet store with… A teacup pig.
What this poster failed to mention is that teacup pigs are really just small, potbellied pigs. They grow, sometimes quite large, and like most pigs, love to root, play in the mud and splash in water.
They’re adorable, and your popularity instantly shoots through the roof!
Sure, when comparing a cat to a teacup pig, the rational choice would have been a cat, they make better pets based on the technical comparison of care to enjoyment. The problem is, humans are emotional creatures, and emotions can alter the way we feel, as well as our opinions and actions in decision making situations. “Why settle for logic, when I can have it all (Billy!).”
Let’s bring it back to your brand video. Certain technical elements should be highlighted, but in a more general fashion. What you’re looking to do is connect with consumers on an emotional level. You have the power to build positive feelings in audiences with a creative video. Those positive feelings then lead to an emotional attachment to your product or brand.
How do you think big, brand name companies continue to excel over store brands, even though they generally contain the same ingredients and are significantly more expensive? It’s all about feelings. Humans feel like they know brands in the same way they know other people. If they like your brand, they will continue to use it even if more logical brands are available, the same way you might drive a few hours to visit your best friend instead of staying home and hanging out with your nice, but less exciting neighbor.
So what kind of emotions should you target in your videos? That’s a good question, and there really isn’t one specific answer. You may choose to target one or more based on the type of appeal you’re looking for. Take a look at some of the more popular emotional appeals.
Happiness – The most popular emotional appeal, simply because its pursuit is the rationale of every decision you make. “Will this make me happy?” It’s the American dream. Your video could be funny, generating joy through laughter, or it could reflect the dreams of your audience, reflecting what would make them most happy and how your brand could bring them to that state of being. Attracting the love and attention of your peers because you bought the teacup pig is an excellent example.
Sadness – As the exact opposite of our most popular emotional appeal, one might think you should never make a sad video. Not True. There are many reasons a sad video can be just as effective as a happy one, the biggest reason: empathy. If your brand or product touches on a sad or sensitive topic, viewers can be drawn to you through their own personal experiences and feelings on that topic. This empathy often makes us more generous and trusting, attachment to your brand will grow, just in a different way.
Fear/Surprise – In a similar way to Sadness, Fear and Surprise can be effective in stimulating greater brand attachment. “A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrated that consumers who experienced fear while watching a film felt a greater affiliation with a present brand than those who watched films evoking other emotions, like happiness, sadness or excitement (Seiter, 2014).” People cope with their fears by turning towards the familiar, either close friends or, in our purposes, a comforting brand. I know I settle down for every scary movie with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
Anger/Disgust – While many attribute anger to other emotions like aggression, a recent study by The University of Wisconsin found that it also creates an interesting form of online stubbornness. When exposed to negative comments on a particular stance, viewers are more likely to sink in and, sometimes irrationally, defend their original viewpoint. Harnessing this emotion within a video can be tricky, but, with the right script and target audience, the ability to increase brand allegiance his highly likely.
Guilt – Consumers can be easily persuaded by feelings of guilt. This emotion is perfect for Non-profits. You might often hear phrases like, “Don’t let them suffer anymore, for only (Insert small contribution here) a day, you could save a life.”
Pride – Many consumers want to feel cool, they want to be trend-setters. Taking a keeping up with the Joneses mentality when developing a video is never a bad thing when it comes to brand promotion. Look at Gatorade and their “Be like Mike” ad campaign. According to them, if you drink Gatorade, you can play ball just like Michael Jordan. So consider targeting pride in your next video, all the cool kids are doing it.
These are simply a few of the many emotions one could target in their promotional video or advertisement. To decide on the best option to meet your branding goals, consult a professional copywriter and producer. They’ll be able to design a solid concept and execute it with the professionalism you’re looking for. May I suggest Clearview Media?
Written by: Cody Stauber