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Why Brands Need Emotion: Robots Still Can''t Cry at Sad Commercials

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Jim Allen By Jim Allen

Ah, the good old times, when Mad Men ruled the ad world, cigarettes were doctor-recommended, and the Beatles were simply “mop-top boys from Liverpool” rather than legendary music icons. Fast forward a few decades, and we're in an age where robots are doing our grocery shopping and AI-driven campaigns are the backbone of marketing strategies. And yet, for all its advancements, there's one thing technology hasn't mastered: emotion.

My dear marketers, let's take a moment to admit it – robots still can't cry at sad commercials. You know which ones I'm talking about, those gut-wrenching, heart-tugging ads that make you reach for that box of tissues, and ultimately, your wallet.

But why is this important? Why should brands invest in creating emotional connections in a world seemingly obsessed with data and algorithms? Here's the lowdown:

  • Emotion drives action: 65% of consumers report they feel an emotional connection with a brand or company – and these are the customers who are most likely to take action (Source: Capgemini).

  • Emotion influences brand loyalty: Harvard Business Review's research indicates that emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend a product, repurchase, and resist market changes.

  • Emotion boosts memory recall: A study by Nielsen found that ads with an above-average emotional response resulted in a 23% increase in sales compared to neutral ads.

Of course, the trick is not just eliciting an emotional response but doing it authentically. We've all encountered the "TRY-HARD" brands - those that squawk about saving the world while pumping megatons of carbon into the atmosphere or promise to 'bring people together' while exploiting their workforce. Indeed, consumers today are more informed and skeptical than ever. They have the power of the internet at their fingertips, ready to fact-check your every claim and call out hollow sentiments.

So, what's the moral of this narrative? Technology may have revolutionized marketing, but it's not a replacement for genuine human emotion. The Beatles knew it - "Can't buy me love," they crooned. Maybe it's time we listen, swap out the robotic campaign strategies for a bit of heart, and remember - while the robots are still learning to cry, humans have been doing it for millennia.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a particularly emotive puppy commercial to attend to. And yes, I've got my tissues at the ready. Who said marketers can't be softies?

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