The emoti-con.

It seems that clients in Pharmaland are beginning to get the taste for a bit of emotional content in their communications, which is always nice to see.

I get emotional just thinking about it.

But often the word is used to describe such low level concessions as having a person featured somewhere in the materials. Yup, that should do it.


Granted, possibly more emotionally engaging than a graph. But actually emotional?

Just placing a typical patient in your communications and calling it emotional is like putting a pair of football boots on and calling yourself a footballer.

What clients really mean (or what they should mean) is they want something that hooks the reader, HCP or patient, on a deeper level than the data alone would permit.

And I agree that that is a worthy goal, people will always have an emotional response first, but emotional can mean a lot of things. And if you are limiting yourself to just one aspect of emotional IE: Sad, heart-wrenching etc you are eliminating a major part of what an emotional engagement actually means or can deliver.

What we really should be talking about is resonance.

To me putting more ’emotion’ in to a brand is about understanding the target market more and hitting upon the trigger which resonates with them most effectively.

The human effect.

This could effect me…or my patients in a way I hadn’t even thought about before has to be a stronger reaction than simply this is really efficacious.

I was lucky enough to pop down to Cannes last year for the inaugural Health Lions awards and my favourite talk by far was from David Nutter, the director of the Red wedding episode of Game of Thrones. At that time I had only just started watching the first series and as he showed the scene in all its gory glory, it was hard to fathom the impact it had had on the legions of fans as they sat, hands over mouths, in horror at the bloodletting.

Why? because the blood was spilling on people I had no attachment to. These were mere outlines of characters at the stage I was at in my viewing journey.

So recently when I came to actually watch the famous scene again, (yes, it has taken me that long) now that I had reached it chronologically and grown attached to the characters,  I knew what was to come but the impact, even so, was almost double the first time round. My emotional attachment to these characters was the difference.

Not a major surprise, of course, but an interesting experience none the less to witness it with and without emotional engagement. The resonance was so much greater, the sadness so more poignant. The blood so much redder.

Of course we struggle with creating characters within advertising that can ever compete with dramas, there are cute bears and puppies and Meerkats but if they get canned, nobody really complains or is that sad.

No, there is only one character in any ad campaign, one that you really can care about. One that you know inside out as if he was Hamlet himself and that any message can effect directly if done with enough resonance.

You’re way ahead of me, aren’t you?

Yes, little old you – the punter.



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