I was driving with my friend Marty the other day and he said, “I see so much really bad advertising on TV, how do things so bad get approved?”
We’ve all asked ourselves that at one time or another because there is so much talent out there and so many great agencies and yet, still, so much bad work.
Of course, a lot of things contribute to the caca that pervades. But there is one belief about the purchase process that is fundamentally false. And it is the one belief that causes so many of the problems.
Companies believe, too often, that people make rational decisions.But they don’t. People don’t buy things for rational reasons. People make emotional decisions and then rationalize them.
That’s true for everything we buy from cars, to clothes, to facial cleansers. We buy for emotional reasons and then we justify the purchase by citing product benefits. NOT the other way around.
A recent study undertaken by the Wharton School of Business and the Advertising Research Foundation agrees. (And they’re smart, rational people.) They analyzed 880 entries to the UK’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Effectiveness Awards, which are based soley on business results of campaigns. And they cited two things that a campaign should do to be successful:
- Influence consumers emotionally rather than rationally
- Create ads with "talk value"
Now that said, there is, and always will be, a need for rational benefits in the purchase funnel. Because once people are emotionally taken by a brand, they need rational reasons to justify the purchase. But they need to react emotionally first.
Anyway, hope that helps, Marty. Something to keep in mind tonight when you're watching The Voice and that floor cleaner commercial comes on that you love so much.