The Emotional Hook

Marketing is all about the emotional hook. Always. Every time…

Ok, fine, there are many other details and small things that go into successful marketing. However, on its most basic level – good marketing makes you feel something. Marketing is all about the hook.

Why does someone choose Coke over Pepsi? Why do I own so many apple products? How have Michael Jordan and Kevin Bacon convinced me that Hanes has the best darn underpants in the world? Emotional hooks!

To be successful marketers we need to remember the emotional hook. We need to present our products and services in a way that people feel something when they choose to align themselves with our brands. It’s more than just presenting WHY they should choose you – it’s telling them what they will feel, how it will make them cooler, smarter, sexier, more Kevin Baconly!

The best brands do it right.

Apple created the emotional hook that their products are part of a modern lifestyle. Their product development supported this hook and their ads presented people and ideas that a modern lifestyle is not possible without Apple devices.

As I sit at my desk, I am drinking a Coke Zero. I am listening to music on my Apple iPhone and I’m wearing… well that goes without saying.

I don’t have a preference to the specific recipe Coke uses, or the slightly feminine curve of the bottle – in fact, tear the labels off and I couldn’t tell the difference if you filled that bottle with Pepsi Next. I chose Coke because I like Coke. I feel good when I have a coke sitting next to me while I work – somewhere along the line, Coke got an emotional hook in me.

Flipping over to Coke’s competitor – Pepsi Max is currently running a YouTube advertising campaign titled Uncle Drew. When watching this ad, think about who it might be directed at. It stars an NBA player, it advertises a caffeinated cola – with just those to details you can assume the target demographic is likely younger and male. To effectively position their product with that demographic, Pepsi must overcome an existing product assumption with that group – that low calorie cola is for girls.

Cool, underground, exciting – being greater than first appearances; these are some of the emotional hooks you might feel while watching this ad. The marketing message behind the ad is implied by the video’s tag [at around 4.24] “a zero calorie cola in disguise” or as a more base message “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Pepsi is seeking to avoid the emotional hook that 0 calories means in any way lesser or weaker – that if you choose to drink a low calorie soda you are by association lesser or weaker. The success of this marketing message and supporting advertising is that now, the emotional hook is that Pepsi Next is cool, underground and exciting – and it just might turn you into Kyrie Irving in disguise. The goal of the emotional hook is to create a low calorie product that their target demo feels good about associating themselves to.

What is your brand’s emotional hook? How does aligning with your brand make your customers feel?

  • timothycd

    THe second episode is awesome too:

    • jakec11

      Kevin Love does play his role well haha. It’s an interesting case study – low calorie soda ads directed at a male audience; Pepsi Next with the Kyrie Irving/Kevin Love ads and Dr Pepper’s new ‘Manly Low Calorie’ soda ads. Think they’re working?