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The Human Connection

One of the keys to successful communication is establishing a personal connection with your audience. When you have it, you will never lose their attention or miss out on the opportunity to establish a relationship.

At the start of any new campaign, we ask ourselves how we can connect with our audience on an emotional level that will be engaging enough to get them to actively consider the products/services we are advertising.

There are many ways to establish this connection.  One of the ways commonly used in consumer products campaigns is to use childhood experiences to evoke a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about your youth. Volkswagen has recently launched a TV campaign focusing on the favorite childhood road trip game “Slug Bug.” Unlike other car commercials, Volkswagen didn’t mention fuel efficiency, horsepower, commitment to safety, or other pressing issues other automotive brands have “responded” to this year. They simply used a well-known game to positively promote the many different Volkswagen models that are available for purchase.

The Food & Beverage category is another good example.  When was the last time you dunked your Oreo cookie into a glass full of milk? Can you remember your inspiration or how you even came up with such a phenomenal idea to mix milk and cookies? Nabisco has been using the “milk and cookie” message as part of their communication for years. Which came first, the ad or the idea?  And Kellogg won’t hesitate to recall how you used to listen to your favorite cereal before you ate it.

And while B2B campaigns mostly focus on rational and logical business reasons to select their product over their competition, some B2B campaigns are beginning to connect with audiences through emotional reasoning as well. AirTran Airways now offers Wi-Fi on all AirTran flights. To promote this feature as a benefit to passengers flying for business reasons, AirTran’s new TV campaign utilizes the excitement that employees feel when they are told of available birthday cake in the conference room.

Each of these brands used visual stimuli paired with familiar experiences to establish an emotional connection. Using this format to connect to their audience may influence a positive perception about their products and their brand overall. Still need more? Ask any father who shares his favorite game with his children and see if they don’t look back on that experience fondly.

No matter which industry you may categorize yourself in, or to whom you are attempting to sell, there are emotional triggers that you can tap to make your marketing more powerful.  Work to find this connection and incorporate it into your campaign strategy, and see what that does, not only to your unaided awareness, but to the success metrics of your campaign.

— Jonathan Ginburg, Sr. Account Executive

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