Working the Vertical: The Role of Logic and Emotion in Video Marketing

Marketing is as much of an art as it is a science and no more apparent can this be seen in video marketing. Behind the camera, there is no single set of rules to follow that guarantee success, regardless of your industry. Indeed, the best video marketing often surprises and delights us by defying our expectations and pushing at the boundaries.

Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t some important rules of thumb that need to be understood. In video marketing possibly the most important of these involves the roles played by logic and emotion and when to employ each in your approach. Understanding the relationship between these two drivers and their implication for advertising across your own industry sector is the first step to unlocking the full potential of your video marketing strategy.

Video Marketing Strategy: Logic vs Emotion

Defining what we mean by logic and emotion in marketing is important if we are to discuss their application. In logical advertising, details about the product and sales arguments are presented to the consumer, leading them to think about practical reasons as to why they want the product. A good example of a logical approach to advertising can be seen in ads for Dyson Vacuum Cleaners, in which a practical demonstration and scientific explanation are enough to persuade the consumer as to the usefulness of the product. In this example, Dyson has built its reputation on its technology, so it goes without saying that they focus their marketing on it.

Most companies require more than just technological razzmatazz to build their brand identity though. When a consumer connects with an ad campaign on an emotional level, they tend to subconsciously associate that emotion with the brand in question. If that emotion is a positive or life affirming one, then this association begins to between brand and positive emotion begins to stick. This can often take a little while to galvanise but when it does the power it can create in terms of brand recognition amongst potential or existing customers is immense.

Striking a Balance Between Emotion and Logic

Knowledge of one’s own brand identity, sector and audience are crucial if video marketers are to make the right decisions about striking the right balance between logical and emotional content. Video advertising can be seen as lending itself naturally to the emotional side, in that it is unparalleled in its ability to portray raw human emotions, visual humour, evocative imagery and the like (often set to a fitting soundtrack). But if utilised to its full potential video is unparalleled as a medium in which to show consumers technical information, using techniques like 3D animation, architectural flythroughs and timelapse photography.

With video increasingly coming to dominate the web, getting this balancing act right across your video marketing campaigns is crucial if you are to really gain any kind of brand traction in an increasingly crowded market space.

Video Marketing Strategy 101: « The Logic Sandwich »

Bryony Thomas illustrates the concept of using emotion and logic in marketing through the analogy of a ‘logic sandwich’. Serving up logic sandwiches can be summarised as delivering “marketing messages that start with emotion, lead on to logic and then return to emotion to seal the deal”. A typical application begins by presenting an emotively charged problem to hook the viewer’s attention, and following it up with a logical explanation of how the product can help them, before returning to the previously established emotive theme.

Though any strictly formulaic approach like this is always going to come up against problems (as there are always exceptions to the rule and approach can often depend upon platform), this is a powerful analogy with which to start thinking about leveraging the interplay between the emotional and logical elements of your video. One of the first challenges for advertisers harnessing logic and emotion is in devising campaigns that fit their brand’s image and style. Pinning this down from the outset will help you ascertain the logic / emotion split in your video marketing.

Below are some examples of how logic and emotion are typically deployed in three large industry sectors:

Working the Verticals: Sportswear

Highly dependent on emotional appeal, sportswear is an enormous market with multi-million-pound adverts and sponsorship deals evident across all manner of media. Nike’s pervasive theme of ‘success in sport’ is a perfect example of a brand that has been built up around a simple and hugely effective emotional driver that attracts customers as well as advertising, sponsorships, etc.

Sport is littered with role models (for better or worse) and by associating brand with sport celebrity, Nike has created the desire for emulation, one of the most powerful emotional drivers there is in brand marketing. The lack of emphasis on technical specifications suggests a market that is highly competitive and driven by fashion and image behind the product as much as the usefulness of that product.

Working the Verticals: Consumer Technology

Consumer technology from smartphones and tablets, games consoles, wireless music streaming hi-fi to vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dishwashers is an industry sector driven by technological innovation. This is a lucrative market and although players such as Amazon, Apple, and Google already rely heavily on emotionally targeted advertising this area is dominated by rational appeals.

As a rule products with a USP built around a new innovative feature that sets it apart from its rivals should depend on the rational approach. This is in stark contrast to sportswear, where the actual technical differentiators between products are pretty fine. The status of the product is therefore derived more from its utility rather than any perceived sense of it being fashionable.

Working the Verticals: The Automotive Industry

The automotive sector is an interesting one as it falls somewhere between a logical and emotional approach. The marketing and sale of cars has always been a matter of emotion, as it has tended to rely on evoking feelings of aspiration and status, traditionally put across in large scale television and billboard advertising. As with any high value purchasing process however, facts and technical specifications play a huge part in purchasing decisions, but this can often cross over into emotional appeals.

Honda’s #hugfest ads campaign was built around car safety – something that undoubtedly evokes an emotional response, but which will undoubtedly be accompanied by a more detailed logical approach at a different phase in the marketing funnel. But the prize for fusing technical and emotional advertising in the automotive sector surely goes to Volvo for their now legendary Epic Split YouTube video with Jean-Claude Van Damme (currently with 77 million views). With more and more tech on board cars and more concern over safety, there is a definite comparison to be made with the consumer tech approach, especially when showing off features and innovations are taking more of a front seat, over the stylised and emotional appeals of traditional TV advertising.


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