“There are times – usually just before we make a buying decision – when we want facts and figures to help us decide. At these times, a rational, no-nonsense approach tends to work best. But mostly, marketing works in a different way: creating emotional associations, so we feel good about brands when we encounter them again later. This kind of brand advertising needs to charm and seduce us. Not persuade us. And as with other sorts of seduction, playfulness and humour work rather well for brands. They disarm our critical faculties, creating warm feelings towards brands.
Research shows its those feelings that drive long-term ROI. Advertising lacking charm can have the opposite effect. It raises our defences so we scrutinise its claims more critically … the net effect is poor sales and lower profits. Especially over the long term.”
Les Binet & Sarah Carter, ‘How not to plan’