Advertising: Make It Count offers some thoughts on how to keep your advertising effective. Some valuable suggestions here:

4. Focus on faces
The face is the center of our being, the barometer of a person’s health and beauty. It’s also how we evaluate whether we like somebody, and the place to check if we distrust what we’re being told. Fake smiles don’t fool us; everybody’s a natural facial coder. For instance, ‘surprise’ that lasts for more than a second isn’t genuinely felt surprise; it’s canned, another case of ‘spin’ and is intuitively rejected. Our results show that the casting alone can account for a 30% swing in consumers’ emotional response to an execution that is otherwise identical in format and messaging.

5. Make It memorable
Ad agencies too often set a pace that feels like a blur to consumers. Their clients can meanwhile be foolishly blind to the need for an ad that achieves an emotional peak. People notice change; a solution where the ‘pain’ of the status quo isn’t conveyed adequately means the solution isn’t perceived as valuable and the storyline just drones on.

6. Relevancy drives connection
‘Us’ and ‘me’ is everything; attachment and self-esteem are the motivations that work best. Differentiation from rivals doesn’t by itself deliver anything on behalf of your target market. In Latin, the words ‘motivation’ and ‘emotion’ have the same root, i.e., to move, to make something happen. Without emotional engagement, you’re dead.

7. Always sell hope
Meaningfulness is the key to sustained happiness. Create a powerful context, a way to enhance confidence and security, or else you’re merely selling a product or service instead. When we’re happy we embrace a branded offer, and are inspired to solve problems at a clip that’s as much as 20%faster (with superior results). In other words, happiness isn’t ‘soft’.

8. Don’t lead with price
Price has only to be heard to be pigeon-holed, short-circuiting the emotional connection. In contrast, value gets assessed over time, based on the build-up of brand associations and experience of the offer. Make money by building a relationship. Loyalty is a feeling, after all, and when it comes to price it depends on overcoming people’s natural aversion (disgust) about surrendering cash to purchase a company’s goods.