Facts + Feels = Better Performance

This Verizon TV commercial caught my eye because it includes something that often gets left out of advertisements, especially those that are couched as a “brand play.” Facts. Google used the same move, for the same phone, in this playful TV commercial. They’re showing you, through demonstration, and telling you, by listing specific facts, about features you care about and will benefit you – and doing so in a captivating way. Microsoft is doing the same thing with their outdoor advertisements for the Surface. There is a billboard just down the street from our Hollywood office that reads “You can take 1.73 pounds just about anywhere” over an eye-catching building that has a tall picture of a gorgeous waterfall. Of course, you can go all facts and are left with something that has no heart and is merely a man sitting at a desk talking at the audience. It’s a delicate balancing act, but in MOST cases, there are far more feels or emotional appeals in a piece creative than facts and rational appeals. We’ve seen a meaningful increase in performance, 15-30%, by replacing emotional appeals with rational appeals. In short, making a spot entertain less and sell harder.

Audiolytics™ is the messaging model we use at Oxford Road to ensure all the building blocks of a persuasive message are in place, including the facts and the feels.

Too often these two aspects of a persuasive message and any message for that matter are seen as a trade-off: you either appeal to the head or to the heart. And the Zeitgeist is all about catching feels. Take a look at Ace Metrix’s break down of TV spots from 2017; they’re solely looking at “emotional impact.” But what about rational impact? So they’re ranking these by “irrational impact”? And we have to admit, it makes sense. It’s more fun to work on the emotional impact stuff – that’s the part the big shops pride themselves on AND is the most enjoyable part of advertising. But an agency is doing its client a disservice if they are only focusing on the feels.

They used to think all matter was either a particle OR a wave. Turns out it’s both. So it is with your messaging – you need the feels and the facts.

You need to appeal emotionally, connect with empathy, but you also need to communicate clearly what it is your product or service is and does, and why it is better. Without fail, when an advertiser asks us to analyze their message they’re missing some key facts- like positioning their offering against competitors or substantiating their claims, or even the simple & clear articulation of a meaningful offer. In 2018, resolve to make the most of the head and the heart, leaving neither side neglected. It’s the surest way to get the feels you desire as your ad formula has you laughing all the way to the bank.

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