Rational or Emotional Appeal?

A Shift in Arguments and Advertisements

Pitching an idea through rational methods and backing up claims with statistical evidence and facts seems to be losing popularity, at least in America. I’ve always understood the power of an emotional argument, but I myself have never been a fan. Of course, this is something carries over into marketing and sales. It is something I can’t really enjoy unless I’m feeling particularly creative at the moment.

You Be the Judge

For example, what is sexier? A car that has great mpg, or the one with similar mpg and enough horsepower it’ll make you feel like a kid realizing his dream of becoming a race car driver. See what I’m talking about? The mpg angle can be taken as well, but the focus should be on the emissions that are saved, the benefit to society, and a general sense of environmental responsibility. The connections are there to be made, its just up to marketers to make meaningful connections.

The Cause is….

There are a few things that could be causing this trend. The greatest influence, I believe, comes from the internet and the fact that people can look up all the relevant data and stats, so why would marketers waste precious commercial time doing anything other than emotionally connecting the audience to the vehicle. I’m using cars as the example here, but the product (or service) could really be anything. The generation of sharing everything on social media, from your plate of breakfast to a new tiger you just bought sitting on the passenger seat of your Mercedes G wagon, proves that people love to show off. They get rewarded for it by getting attention/likes/follows.

What I Think of it All

I do not have any hard data to back up these claims, but it would be interesting to see what percentage of people are buying something, not for its utility, but rather for the message it signals to others and the prestige that goes with such a purchase. It makes more sense to focus on luxury goods when making this point, but this technique is not limited to them. I am mostly talking about Veblen goods, follow the link for a detailed Wikipedia page. Building a story and connecting the product/service to the brand is the most powerful thing a marketer can do. Go ahead and drool while looking at the following items that could be described as having very strong signaling/prestige associated with the brand.

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Hang Out and Enjoy

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and I can’t wait to share more marketing related stories, news, and insights with all of you. Thanks for stopping by! Now check out the related stories just below here!

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