Even if you have no interest in sport, there is something about the Olympics that makes even the most athletically apathetic tune in and take notice. That something is the drive, determination and dedication of the Olympic athletes. These individuals train tirelessly for the opportunity to prove themselves at their most prodigious competition. As spectators, we get to know them, their stories and for a couple of weeks watch how their life’s goal plays out for the world to see.

What’s more, we witness the raw emotion seen only when the human condition is pushed to its limit. For some, hopes and dreams will be realized, while others will be crushed. There are no second chances; although, sometimes the difference between winning or losing simply comes down to chance.

Emotive advertising

What is not left to chance are the messages of the Olympic sponsors. The advertising these sponsors employ bank on the human element to pull on the heart strings of their consumers in the hopes of propelling their brands forward. And with good reason – emotive advertising has proven its impact on the mind of the consumer.
Emotion within advertising, is not unlike the emotion felt during the Olympic games. It goes beyond borders. Ultimately, no matter who we are or where we call home, we understand and truly relate to one another on a primitive, human level.

It’s been done before
Appealing to human emotion in advertising is nothing new. Some of the strongest brands in the world have successfully leveraged emotion in their campaigns. Let’s look at a few:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3naDh4mS1s]

AT&T: Reach Out

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ8A-3NmqfM]

Dove: Real Beauty

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKV0kR6Ih0s]

Coca Cola: Open Happiness

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnkwbUZ4zog]

BMW: Feeling Remains

How does it work?
Although it isn’t new, emotive advertising has always required an authentic approach to be successful. The emotion behind the message must align directly with the brand. And, the audience must be able to effortlessly make that connection in order to trust the brand message. Basically, you can’t just insert your logo at the end of a heart felt ad, having no relation to your brand, and expect it will resonate with your market. As we all know, the implications of poor brand alignment within advertising messaging, emotional or otherwise, can be catastrophic.

Social implications
It is no secret that a misstep in brand advertising will cause your market to turn on you, and their good opinion once lost, takes a lot to gain back. What was once the brand influencing the market, is now the market influencing the brand. Persuasion has taken a back seat to public preference. Brands have their hands tied, so to speak, and are simply trying to keep hold of their reputations within the social realm.

Emotionally attached
The more technologically connected consumers become, the less emotionally attached (or loyal) they can feel. It has been said that as consumers, we make decisions emotionally and then justify them rationally. No consumer goes to the effort of typing something online without the hopes of being commented on, liked, shared or retweeted. Now more than ever, emotive advertising could be the key to bringing the consumer and brand back together. Social media has provided an outlet for consumers to be heard, and if brands don’t take action, they will be left behind. After all, if brand is a living entity, it only makes sense that it would appeal to its market’s wants and needs in an emotional context.

You don’t have to be an Olympic sponsor to realize the benefit of emotive advertising. And, it doesn’t matter if your brand is a soft drink, telephone, car or beauty product. In an effort to better understand consumers, let’s not just speak to ourselves, lets speak to each other. It could be just the thing our brands need.