The most powerful advertising, those that touch and follow us for days in our minds are those that untap our most basic emotions: joy, fear, hope, love, sadness, rage, anxiety… (there is not one list but I found this one useful).
Last week I was in San Francisco reading USA Today and found this powerful image that crashed into my brain and provoked a strong flux of thoughts (potentially sad ones):
I was not in a sad mood whatsoever but that advertising moved a lot of things inside of me on a “what if” basis. The art and the story are really simple. MetLife foundation chose to use an image that contains a language embedded into it and that is Peanuts‘ language, one of the most famous and influential comic strips ever. If you are an American (and not only) between 30 and 99 year old, you probably know Snoopy and his best friend Woodstock.
The advertising does not need to explain this relationship in words. If you read this comic strip you’ll remember Snoopy’s emotional character, Woodstock’s loyalty and the ability of both to create wonderful stories (through the late Charles Schulz ability to transfer the best of human character to them).
Powerful advertising does not need to be overdone. Think of your product/service or message and target the basic emotion that best fits into it. Then look for the best language to communicate it. It might be based on someone else’s work (like in this case where MetLife uses Peanuts) or might require an original creation. Jump over the conscious thinking and talk directly to the unconscious, to our memories, reality and dreams. 🙂
Enjoy Peanuts comic strips here!