Three ads that hit the Emotional Endzone and why
By Branding Expert Nicole Hanratty

Emotional Endzone and Connecting with Your Audience

In branding, if your ads miss the Connection Circuit, you will fail to move your product forward into the Emotional Endzone.

How do you connect with your audience? Whether you are creating a social media graphic to post on Instagram, Tweeting out a story, or posting a how-to video on YouTube, the marketing plan goal of messaging content should be to resonate with consumers.

Connection Circuit

What do I mean by connection circuit? When you are designing a marketing plan, keep a visual target on your audience’s heart.  That is where the Emotional Endzone lives.  If you want to motivate your customer to open up his or her wallet, then you need to get inside the connection zone.  You need them to feel your vibe, relate to your message, and be drawn in by the look and feel of your advertisement.
 
Are you making the right impact with your content marketing? This is the same question I ask time and time again.  The Emotional Endzone is a place fraught with feelings. More than just the warm and fuzzies live here.  The famous line, “There is a fine line between love and hate,” also lives in this impassioned place.  Making an impact with shock and awe or offensive imagery is hitting the Connection Circuit but it is not going to motivate your current or potential future consumer to do anything but dislike you.

3 ads that hit the Emotional Endzone and why

1. Enviable Movement.  The sounds of Portugal the Man “Feel It Still” help bring this Vitamin Water ad alive. Music is a long proven effective sales tool but the enviable movement, in this case unabashedly dancing in public, sells it.  Brands should never underestimate the power of tapping into the emotional envy with their content marketing.

We’ve all had a moment singing in the car, or grooving to a beat thinking no one else is watching–only to be caught.  This ad hits the Connection Circuit because it embraces the otherwise socially unacceptable enviable movement of dancing when you feel it, even if it is on the treadmill in the gym.  It draws on the viewer’s empathy and delivers with gusto the message that Vitamin Water gives you the courage to be yourself.

2. Relatability. Pop culture trends and showing your company’s more playful side lets your consumer know that you are more than a corporate entity.  Brands are made up of everyday people, why not let that come through in your advertising? In this case, Wendy’s use of popular phrases like, “just sayin,'” “not-so-hidden gem,” and “anyway,” works.

This ad is relatable because it is simple. There are no fancy graphics or special effects. It doesn’t disrupt visual trends, in fact, it follows the social media trend today of creating a video by adding text over imagery and making it watchable without sound. The music is basic and it’s likely Wendy’s assume, most will not even listen to the advertisement.

The visual content marketing is also relatable because it draws on the “did you see what they posted” sentiment of the current day.  Who isn’t screenshotting or screen recording something that seems incredulous someone has “admitted” or posted?   Wendy’s uses relatability to

3. Popular Ideals.  This piece of content marketing by P&G focusses on mom’s and their power to inspire. We see a young girl’s dreams through the eyes of her mother, who is aware the reality of getting to the Olympics is slim. We see a young boy who loves to dance brandishing a black eye being comforted by his mother. We see a child with lesser means it taped together skates being taunted by kids with fancier equipment and his mother encouraging him not to pay attention to them. Scenes of difficult circumstances to overcome lead to visuals of triumph and reward, with mom at the finish line.

This ad draws from two Popular Ideals. The first is that mothers are tireless cheerleaders for their children.  The second is that everyone loves to root for “the underdog.” Hitting on Popular Ideals is an effective way for companies to target the Connection Circuit and land the brand in the Emotional Endzone.

ABOUT NICOLE HANRATTY

Nicole Hanratty is a branding and communication consultant.  She has her M.S. degree in Communication, specializing in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She also has an M.A. degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Politics from CSUN, and a B.A. degree in Legal Studies and Politics with an emphasis in International Law from UCSC.