Emotional Engagement and Weeping Wrecks – all in the name of Marketing

Shadow dancers. Simon Cowell. Audiences weeping. Marketing can be an emotional rollercoaster – here’s how to get in on the act…

One of my training sessions, “Marketing with a twist”, starts with a little intro on the ever elusive concept of emotional engagement. I’ll take you through it using a recent example – a session delivered to a group of International MBA students, presumably in between them studying like philosophers and drinking like, well, philosophers:

I start with a question.

“Who knows what emotional engagement is?”

Around the room, a veritable forest of hands goes up. Roughly three quarters of the students present know what emotional engagement is. And why wouldn’t they? They’re all clever people and have a good knowledge of the big, wide world (most of them anyway!).

Feeling like Alexander Armstrong, I pick a particularly enthusiastic hand waver to supply an answer to my crafty quiz. What I get, and this is relatively typical of how people answer the question, is near on a dictionary definition of emotional engagement. Something along the lines of: Emotional engagement is when you attempt to illicit an emotional response through the way something is presented, creating a connection between the person experiencing the emotion and the presented thing. Hmm..

Our plucky student isn’t necessarily wrong. What I’m interested in, though, is what the words really mean. The real question is my next one:

“How does emotional engagement look and feel?”

There are no hands up this time. The forest of hands is apparently stumped. So I show my audience the following video of Shadow Dance group Attraction from Britain’s Got Talent. Yep, I know what you’re thinking – Britain’s Got Talent? What’s that got to do with marketing? Well, a fair old bit as it happens. Give it a watch and you’ll see what I mean:

The comments from the judges at the end sum it all up nicely. The performance draws you in and presents something original, touching and that you weren’t expecting, but most of all, it’s emotionally engaging. This is enhanced two-fold by the camera work – we cut to the audience being emotionally affected – creating a sort of communal emotional response. The spectrum of emotions only improve this sensation further – right down to the little chuckle you get when the dancers create the London cab!

You’ve got to be different to get people’s attention. This video gets attention with the added emotional bonus of tugging on people’s heart strings – turning them into weepers! Mr. Cowell himself commented that Attraction were original – that’s the aim in marketing as well. In my sessions, I teach you to use real life, observational material like this to develop engaging creative concepts.

This kind of video shows the raw power of emotional engagement – and I want to show you how to apply it to your marketing strategy. Get in touch on hello@traceywrightmarketing.com and find out how you can emotionally engage your audience.

Disclaimer: you may or may not form a shadow dance group off of the back of a Tracey Wright session. Just saying.