You know, as a copywriter I have always felt that my profession very much resembles our day-to-day, emotion-filled lives.
I mean, the copywriting art of creating intent and thereafter convincing is certainly a skill that is needed in everyday life.
This starts very early in our lives, and right up to our senior years. Some examples:
Asking our parents to let us stay up a little longer
Convincing our siblings that there’s a monster under the bed
Influencing the teacher that it’s the other kid’s fault
Telling your friend that it’s cool to smoke this
Sweet-talk a girl/guy to go out with you
Get an employer to hire you
Persuade the bank that you’re good for it
Warning your kids not to stay up a little longer
Making your kids to get to the bed before the monster does
And these are just broadstrokes. There are countless little acts of convincing that needs to happen every single days of our lives – be it with ourselves or others – to have some semblance of being a functioning human being.
Just like convincing people to purchase, we don’t always get our way. There are failures and rejections to contend with – and most of the time it depends on the emotional connection with other person.
Emotions matter, because we want the recipient to be in a trusting, comfortable and accepting mood if we were to have any success.
Think about the last time you willingly agreed to do something.
Let’s say for instance you were asked to dine in a place that you know is average, yet overpriced. But you still agreed.
Did you feel compelled to say yes because you’re such a nice person? Or was it because you were emotionally invested to the person making the request?
Like if my wife asked me to do something I don’t really want to do (don’t get any funny ideas), I’d still probably do it – that’s being emotionally invested, and also so I can earn extra brownie points.
Apparently, being emotionally invested makes you less critical and objectively observant. Love is the greatest emotional investment – think about all the things you did for family, good friends and loved ones… it probably didn’t take too much convincing.
Buying gifts for your nearest and dearest is an emotion-filled task as well, where budget or inconvenience are not prime concerns.
But what if there is no emotional connection, as with life’s other activities? As a copywriter, convincing strangers to purchase a product or service is often devoid of any emotion.
Perhaps chemistry has the answer.
You see, there are a few chemicals we can try to trigger – in our intended targets’ brains – that can alter their emotional state to be more, well, ‘receptive’.
Be it from a copywriter or a salesperson, inducing these chemicals can be the difference between ignoring the message or taking action.
Improves focus, motivation and memory with an all-round, feel-good factor. Induced by building suspense and leaving things to the imagination with a cliff-hanger. Think teaser ad campaigns and movie trailers as real-world examples. Good e-Mail marketers also use this strategy – where a potent, well-crafted prose leads to a video or landing page.
Builds trust, nurtures generosity and improved bonding. Induced by weaving empathy into the storyline. Those UNICEF, WWF or SPCA campaigns usually take this route, to get you feeling all warm and fuzzy, making you more willing to donate.
Makes people laugh and automatically puts them in a good, open and comfortable mood. Think ice-breakers in client presentations or a funny quote to start an e-Mail copy. This funny business is a bit mischievous though, use sparingly or you will end up looking not-so-credible. Great for memes, but not always for marketing communications.
So the next time you encounter a marketing content that spoke to your soul – be it a sponsored post, blog article or video – it’s probably one of the chemicals above at work.
And possibly thanks to a copywriter going all emo to make that soul-warming connection.
The key ideas for this post was based on a TedTalk by David JP Phillips on the science of storytelling. Pretty interesting if you’re into that kind of stuff.