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The Power of Emotional Marketing

13th October 2017


Emily Plotkin from Grayling's LA team gets emotional over the Apple Watch...

Apple’s announcement of its new devices was perhaps the most anticipated tech event of the year. Tech enthusiasts and everyday consumers alike couldn’t wait to see the unveiling of the highly speculated iPhone X. But for me, the most interesting announcement was the overlooked Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple showed a video featuring people whose lives have been impacted by the Apple Watch, including a man who was in a car accident and was able to call the ambulance on his watch after he couldn’t reach his phone. The video also featured a man who was able to get healthy again after tracking his fitness on his wrist. It was about 60 seconds long and quite literally brought tears to my eyes (though I am someone who cries at an inspiration quote, so I’m not sure that means so much).

This is part of the key to Apple’s marketing - taking stories of inspiration that tug on your heart strings in order to make you think emotionally about their product.

People are united and drawn in by their emotions; this kind of emotional marketing makes you think of a product in a different way, and about what the product can give you, beyond just hard functions. It creates a new image and new thoughts of the product in our brain. It relates the product to happy and positive feelings. Apple was not just selling its watch, it was selling feelings of safety, inspiration and connectedness.

On average, we are exposed to over 5,000 advertisements per day, yet only about 12 will make an impression on the average consumer. Emotional advertising is a way in which advertisers can stand out from competitors and allow their ads to resonate with people exposed to them.

One of my favorite campaigns to incorporate emotional messaging is “Letters to Dad” by Paper and Packaging. This was used to promote a service pretty much as bland as it comes - shipping products. But the company created a story of a family, a story where you couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with intense feelings of sadness, happiness, and love, all in only 30 seconds.

A big reason why marketers use emotional messaging is to eliminate regret among buyers, especially for expensive products from companies like Apple. Having an emotional attachment to a product creates a new sense of value, one that lasts beyond just the initial purchase. The feelings associated with a brand thanks to emotional messaging stick with you and the product for a long time.

Apple could have spent the majority of its conference talking about the newest features of the Apple watch and how their innovation has created a product that is one of a kind. But they saw the value in emotional messaging and the importance of resonating with consumers on a level that would differentiate their product from those of their competitors.

It made me seriously consider whether or not this watch could be life-changing for me, too.


Grayling Team

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