Why Brands Should Strive For Emotional Relevance

Jimmy Ferrante September 06, 2016
Why Brands Should Strive For Emotional Relevance

As attention spans grow shorter, brands must do what they can to stand out among the noise.

This has typically been achieved by being louder and more assertive in a shorter period of time.  However, this in-your-face approach has led many consumers to install software that frees them from these advertisements that not only frustrate them, but also lack any emotional relevance for them.

And if brands’ messages aren’t emotionally relevant, consumers wonder, “How can they possibly be selling me the right product?”

This disconnect makes brands appear out of touch with their audiences.  And the end result isn’t just consumers blocking or skipping ads, but an overall abandonment of the brand. Throwing messages at a consumer for 15-second intervals simply doesn’t inspire them to engage brands anymore. Ads with no emotional relevance behind them are being buried in today’s world; where consumers are constantly berated by content.

The length of an ad could be the difference between a fleeting moment and a lasting impact.

In a recent study conducted by Google on Youtube’s skippable ad format, TrueView, a short 15-second video depicting a family resulted in far less brand favorability than a 2-minute version of the same ad that brought the viewer into a deeper story about persevering as a family. The 2-minute long ad also had both a higher view-through rate and fewer skips than the 15-second ad.  What this suggests is that consumers want to connect on a deeper, emotional level with brands they can relate to.

It is the stories ads tell, and the emotional relevance within them, that give the audience a reason to listen.

During the Super Bowl, advertisements become a reason for people to gather around the television. Comical skits turn into hashtags and memes, and heart-warming stories have viewers holding back tears. Budweiser is the perfect example of a brand making itself emotionally relevant through the use of comedy. From their classic “wazzup” commercial to their iconic frogs, they have been providing audiences with memorable experiences that inspire engagement. Another great example was when Google aired an ad using something emotionally relevant to everyone – relationships.  The commercial followed a student using Google’s search engine to find a study abroad program in Paris which leads to a romantic encounter. This message resonated with consumers by subtly hinting that Google is the gateway to new adventures in both life and love. These examples are proof that a good story filled with emotional relevance can easily elevate a brand’s messaging above the noise.

To sum up: advertising must be more than just selling a product; it needs to be about making an emotional connection that sets the foundation for a relationship to grow.  Establishing that emotional relevance with consumers leads to a higher willingness to view ads entirely as well as elicits a deep connection, which ultimately results in greater brand favorably in the minds of the viewer.