“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
A good advertisement should be the same. It should be powerful enough to trigger the inner workings of consumers’ hearts and minds and find what’s missing in their lives. And since the introduction of the advertising model AIDA was introduced in 1925, ads have successfully done this through varying techniques.
In an age when it’s harder than ever to get the consumer to sit down and pay attention, we are being forced to ask what the average consumer needs to stay glued to his/her seat? Have viewers become sick of being told what they will lose if a product isn’t bought? Should we still be targeting the heart over the mind or do the two go hand in hand more than we think?
To deepen our engagement as brand marketers with consumers, it’s now about adding value to people’s lives by looking at what they value in a brand and what they want to accomplish in their lives. A good example is the Pepsi Refresh project in which consumers pitch an idea about how they would like to have a positive impact on the world. Ideas range from addressing diabetes to increasing literacy in at-risk communities.
Pepsi has invested $20 million to fund the project. There’s a multidisciplinary team of people involved with strategy, branding, sales and creative— participating throughout the process. PepsiCo’s goal is to dig deep into the ‘whys’ of consumer behavior, cultural trends and emerging markets.
As consumers, it’s impossible to base our shopping decisions on cognitive processing and separate that from our hearts’ desires. That’s because people are generally looking for a major effect or end result when they purchase a product, instead of subtler, minor effects. As the question was posed before, do the heart and mind go hand in hand in advertising? Absolutely. The heart needs the brain and vice versa. And yet studies have proven that one generally must come into play first.
An emotional reaction needs to be established before further cognitive processing of an advertising stimulus takes place. Advertisers need some sort of brain sitting on top of their consumers’ shoulders, but in the end it’s the heart and emotions that can be considered the gatekeeper for further advertisement process and ultimately the buyers’ key to sanity in a totally insane world.