If you want to see where we are in how we communicate compare the emotion of the Amazon TV ad with Woolworth’s from 33 years ago.
One uses emotion to tell a story that makes you feel better and gives you hope. The other has Lenny Bennett.
Emotion as a channel
But as an example of using emotion to communicate the new Amazon Christmas TV ad is a perfect example.
You may have seen it. A white-haired man opens the door and invites a grey bearded into his house. It’s clear they are friends and it’s clear that they enjoy each other’s company. Equally, it’s clear that they are gentlemen of the cloth of two opposing faiths. One Christian and one Muslim. But no matter, they come together as friends and enjoy a cup of tea. Getting up to leave they both struggle with their knees. So, in a further surprise they order knee protectors for each other from Amazon.
It’s inspiring. It’s beautiful. It’s less about selling product and it is more about the emotion. As a world where there is too much distrust and fear between people, colours and religions we need this. The fact check that Amazon staff don’t always feel beautiful towards their staff is important too. Maybe the company will live up to their TV ad.
But what is fascinating about this TV ad and others such as John Lewis or Sainsbury’s is that emotion drives them. This isn’t about the head making judgements about price. It’s the heart that wants to make the place a better place to live.
Compare this to the Woolworth’s TV ad from 1983. Go on. Watch it. I dare you. It’s brilliant. It’s a mad list of products and their prices with celebrities of the day. Geoff Capes? Lenny Bennett? Kerching.
The drivers for this are value and bargains rather than making the world a better place. It aims at the head not he heart. Yet, the two companies fill the same niche in the market 30 years apart. They’re places where you can pick-up bargains. One was on the High Street and one online. In 2016, only one survives.