Love, love, love... Look around, and chances are you’ll find a marketer peddling love faster than you’d your own spectacles. Will we ever get over this infatuation with love?
The maximum number of songs are made on one topic – love – in the same way as the maximum number of advertisements are. Read one novel that does not entertain the philosophy of love (or its anti-thesis, hatred) and most probably you’d be reading your college course notes. Specialised ad agencies like Love Advertising (which handles ads for Papa John’s, Luby’s, USO and others), Love Creative (Nike, Microsoft, BBC...) are thriving on tom-tomming their niche specialization in creating ‘love’ ads. Novels like All’s Fair in Love and Advertising (Lenore Black), Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel (Jean Kilbourne) are thriving on the over-infatuation with love of the ad-world and of consumers too one might feel. ABC’s best known print ads (to promote their soaps) still are their decades old Love In The Afternoon ad series; Apple till date sells the Mac with the punch line Why You’ll Love The Mac! You might adore the concept or detest it, but that makes no difference to the fact that love drives much of the commercial communication material for marketers. Isn’t it time we got over this infatuation with ‘love’ and moved over to presenting hard facts about the product/service/offering? Well, the anti-thesis is, should we even try to?
Corporate consultant Isha Khan comments, “Never in recorded history has there been such a titanic need, hunger and desire for love. Quickly translated, the market for love is… unimaginable! Look around and you see this strange scene with human beings longing to invest in emotion, love, imagination and feelings, both in their life and work, but most of them have one major problem: They don’t have a clue! They are caught flat-footed in the challenge of translating love into a palpable, tangible and credible action.” To grounded people (not totally consumed or corrupted by gross and crass materialism that surrounds us), the solution is simple: Get back to basics. Junk those bulky reports. Dump those research studies. Exploit love. Leverage this amazing dopamine as a strategic device for an enduring emotional connect – with every member across your target group/constituency – and watch the bottom line soar on the backs of addicts, love addicts!
One does accept that even genuine, sensitive and smart communicators have recognized and leveraged this emotion intelligently to escape from the dreaded ‘commodity trap’ and place brands where they actually belong – emotional centric-stage. Confesses veteran behavioural scientist and communication watcher Kishore Dave, “This is a hallowed space reserved for charismatic brands, which inspire a kind of passion and loyalty that are both off-limits and non-negotiable to the touts. Also, what better time than now – harsh, tough, cynical and complex – to bring back the past and get love back-on-track. Celebrate love as emotion, inspiration and motivation number one! Reaffirm what smart ad guys and marketers have known all along... that in the endless battle lines between emotion and reason, the former leads to action; the latter, only to conclusion”.
Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista and the new Bank (ICICI) ads seem to be doing it, brilliantly, all the time. Explains Creative Director Kaushik Sen, “They’ve understood that the rules of the game have changed. It’s no longer only about consumer contact programmes; it’s about hanging out and being involved.”
The April rose that only grows in early spring, nature’s way of giving a reason to living, the golden crown that makes a man a king? You decide, but yes… the popular consensus is that everything considered, love is indeed the CEO that presides over all target groups simply because it unfailingly conquers the most significant, critical, precious sacrosanct and rewarding territory of all… your heart! Our call – just do it!