Selling an Emotional Connection
What Small Business Owners can Learn from Political Ads
The political season can be all-consuming and exhausting. Local airwaves are crammed with ads that can make your skin crawl, blood boil or leave you bored to tears. But every now and then a political ad can cut through the noise to be memorable and thought-provoking. Politicians aren’t selling a product, they are selling a brand. They want you to buy into the idea of “them.” It’s a tough sell, and the approaches are something small business owners can take into account when trying to make your own emotional connection with your audience.
Let’s look at two examples of political ads that leave a lasting impression of their brands in contrasting ways.
First up, an ad from Jason Kander, a Democrat from Missouri. Remember, take politics out of the equation and focus on how these points are made.
That ad makes a powerful statement. The message issues a challenge to his opponent, states his position, and highlights his skill and service to our country– all in 30 seconds. You can’t walk away from this ad without feeling something about Jason Kander.
What to Take Away:
The beauty of this spot is its simplicity. No bells and whistles, no sound effects, no flashy graphics. Just a man and his rifle hoping to make a point. You don’t always need to be the loudest voice out there to cut through the noise; being direct, showing off your skill and choosing your words carefully can make for a memorable declaration of your talent. If your brand can speak for itself, it will create that sought after emotional connection.
Secondly, an ad from a Texas Republican, Gerald Daugherty. His ad takes an offbeat approach and leaves a lasting impression.
You feel good after that, right? That’s the point. This ad is gaining national acclaim for its charm. This ad uses its 60 seconds masterfully. You might not remember what Gerald was droning on about BUT you will remember his wife’s reactions and how they made you feel.
What to Take Away:
Sometimes the best ads have little to do with who you are but who you are trying to reach. This ad isn’t going on and on about the candidate, it’s the candidate’s wife– a woman all wives can relate to– who is the star. She’s the audience they are trying to reach; she is establishing the emotional connection. In an election season filled with anxious negativity, it feels great to let ourselves be charmed by the Daugherty’s. Your brand doesn’t always have to be the focus, your audience’s feelings should be tapped. And depending on your business, humor usually resonates with viewers.
These two ads couldn’t be further apart on how they connect, but they connect. Neither of these ads is flashy and neither is policy driven; they are driven by emotional connection. Small business owners may not have a lot of money to put toward their ad budget but being creative and establishing an emotional connection is worth much more. Make people feel something when they think of your brand, the emotion stays with them much longer than a 30-second spot.
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