In a story running now on the All Business home page, a marketing strategist and psychologist discuss the emotional buy Mother’s Day represents.
And, in the May 5 issue of Harvard Business School’s “Working Knowledge” newsletter, two authors discusses a similar topic in the story, “Connecting with Consumers Using Deep Metaphors.”
The two — Gerald Zaltman and Lindsay Zaltman, authors of Marketing Metaphoria — “believe that deep insights from consumers are essential for brands that resonate.”
Deep metaphors, they say, are basic frames or orientations people have toward the world around them. “They are deep because they are largely unconscious and universal. They are metaphors because they recast everything we think about, hear, say, and do.”
The language of metaphors, the two men say, is a language that marketers must learn to speak if they are to understand and connect meaningfully with their customers.
Two marketing campaigns that Zaltman and Zaltman say effectively used deep metaphors are Coca-Cola’s “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” commercial, which, according to the authors, “invokes a deep metaphor of connection and the ability of the brand to bring diverse people together.”
The second campaign they mention is the Michelin tire ad portraying the tire as a container, a deep metaphor for safety for family, especially children. “The last version of the ad, which ran for many years, showed a child positioned within a tire on a wet surface accompanied by several pairs of animals. This invoked imagery of Noah’s Ark, one of the most famous containers of all time that withstood a major catastrophe.”
Well, this was all a little too academic (and the ads way too old) for one advertising type with whom I shared this article, but — academic and dated or not — the point probably is valid. Successful ads often bring to mind some deeper feeling.
If it is an emotional buy, then retailers would be wise to try and tap into that emotion.