A vast sector of modern advertising… does not appeal to reason but to emotion; like any other kind of hypnoid suggestion, it tries to impress its objects emotionally and then make them submit intellectually.
~ Erich Fromm
Would you rather make women feel better about themselves or about your brand?
In a recent study inspired by Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, researchers discovered that when women were shown advertising with thin women, they felt worse about themselves, but responded favorably toward the brand.
When ads were shown with “regular size” women, they felt better about themselves, but responded less favorably toward the brand.
Darned if you do. Darned if you don’t.
This raises a great question:
Understanding a customer’s deepest emotions and then using the insights gained from that learning is considered the backbone of modern marketing.
Most marketers (this one included) would argue that not knowing your customer is irresponsible. In fact, I’d say marketing without emotion is like a car without gas: It won’t go.
But is advertising that preys on human emotions manipulative?
Is it ethical?
Is it Responsible Marketing?
Comment below to weigh in.